January 2019 – March 2019
The FMF’s projects for 2019 include: consumer rights, economic freedom / growth, energy, financial sector, healthcare, jobs creation / labour, land reform / property rights (with a particular focus on #EWC – Expropriation Without Compensation), rule of law, transformation, as well as ad hoc issues as they arise.
The FMF works hard to increase its media coverage and reach as wide an audience as possible with its message about the benefits of economic freedom, growth and the rule of law.
293 ARTICLES that quote or mention the FMF or originate from interviews or media releases or were written specifically for the media or the FMF’s website were published this quarter. See projects below for more information.
INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 57 this quarter.
Ad hoc releases mean FMF distributed 6 MEDIA RELEASES this quarter. See projects below for more information.
FMF is conscious of the power of SOCIAL MEDIA and we are working hard to reach more people via our website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube offerings.
In the right-hand column, the FMF’s website has three “windows” to our social media making it easier for our members and website visitors to access…
Twitter @FMFSouthAfrica: 4,521 followers
Facebook: 4,891 likes
YouTube: 310 videos; 1,250 subscribers; 220,435 views
FMF researchers Martin van Staden, Mpiyakhe Dhlamini, and Chris Hattingh recently begun recording weekly podcasts, on a wide range of topics. In addition to the weekly ‘Free Marketeers’ podcast which features all three of them discussing topics together, they also do weekly podcasts on topics of their own choosing. All podcasts can be found on the FMF’s YouTube channel.
A few of their podcasts:
- What's going on with expropriation without compensation? – 1,862 views
- Reserve Bank nationalisation: SA, Zimbabwe and Venezuela – 3,212 views
- This is how we restore respect for the law – 1,101 views
- The radical economic transformation of capitalism – 476 views
- Five priorities for growth – 107 views
Watch these two golden oldies recently digitised and uploaded to our YouTube channel:
South Africa: The solution
A constitution worth fighting for
FMF history series
We have begun the mammoth task of unearthing and presenting our 43-year history.
If you would like to know more, why not begin by dipping into our under-construction timeline.
We have digitised our photographs and added them to our website beginning with our 1977 (re)inauguration – see galleries.
We have digitised ancient, dusty VHS tapes and uploaded them to our YouTube channel here. A few noteworthy standouts include Leon Louw’s presentations, a prelude to the writing of South African: The Solution. There are 6 videos in this 1985 series beginning with HISTORY SERIES South Africa: The Solution 1 of 6. See also our 1986 privatisation conference: HISTORY SERIES Privatisation conference 1986 1 of 3 and our 1989 consumer conference: HISTORY SERIES Consumer power conference 1989 1 of 5.
If you have any photographs or tales from FMF’s past, we would welcome you sharing them with us.
Previous cartoons published by FMF can be viewed here.
PROJECTS (note: all articles, media releases and submissions are available on the FMF website)
Far-reaching health controls with severe implications for consumers have been implemented or are under consideration. What is targeted? Products of greatest significance include tobacco, liquor, salt, sugar, traditional and faith healing, alternative medicines, baby food and junk food. Draconian alcohol laws, for example, raising the Minimum Legal Drinking Age from 18 to 21, have been presented to cabinet this quarter; similarly consumer-unfriendly tobacco laws are next.
- Why the outrage over sugar tax job losses? Or, “we told you so” by Martin van Staden
Economic Freedom / Growth
The FMF is a co-publisher of the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index with Canadian based think tank Fraser Institute. The index, published annually, measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The foundations of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete and security of privately owned property. The findings in the report unambiguously support the fact that economic freedom is strongly related to prosperity and growth; countries that are economically free tend to grow faster and be more prosperous.
- Deregulating the economy: A matter of urgency by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Hope in the midst of the Venezuelan tragedy by Sary Levy-Carciente
- Innocent small business owners targeted in Newcastle by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Redistributing wealth is no way to grow the economy by Jasson Urbach
- Ignore Oxfam’s incessant red herring by Dr Dr Dioné Harley
- Bad economics is killing rhino by James Peron
- Venezuela is a prime example of the human cost of socialism by Chris Hattingh
- A Panacea for SAA? by Terry Markman
- Tell Oxfam world on cusp of poverty eradication by Jasson Urbach
- The plight of the poor should be our focus, not inequality by Chris Hattingh
- Afro-socialists are the cause of black poverty by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Free trade: Guaranteed to make ‘almost everyone’ prosperous by Andrew Kenny
- Mboweni: invest in loss-making SAA or in taxis and trains for working people?
- 2019 Budget is “budget as usual” – except for the calamitous debt
- Another year, another phony Oxfam “Inequality” Report
On 6 March, David Coltart presented Causes and consequences of Zimbabwe's dire economic predicament. David discussed some of his experiences in Zimbabwe, under both Robert Mugabe and the new regime, and talked about what lessons South Africa can learn from Zimbabwe.
David’s presentation can be viewed here.
The purpose of the FMF’s Finance Policy Unit is to promote the application of free market principles to financial markets. Current actions continue to focus on the “twin peaks” regulation of which the Financial Sector Regulation (FSR) Act is the architecture, and the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.
On 27 February, Dawie Roodt presented So that was the budget: what now for South Africa? Dawie presented his take on the 2019 Budget; what it means to you and how you can prepare for life after the budget.
Dawie’s presentation can be viewed here.
- Submission on Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill
Video on Twin Peaks
Some years ago, the Financial Services Board (FSB) announced that it had “deregistered” over 15,900 financial service providers. The FSB did not specify race, but how much are you willing to bet that many of those deregistered were emerging black brokers and advisors? Now “Twin Peaks” (or Financial Sector Regulation Act) will further undermine transformation in South Africa. In addition, it will create an enormous bureaucracy with reams of red tape. It will cost an estimated R4,8 BILLION per year, every year, which is equivalent to 500,000 RDP houses or 5,000 new clinics per year, every year. Understanding the law and that it has zero measurable benefits is crucial.
The FMF’s Twin Peaks video can be viewed here.
The FMF’s Health Policy Unit (HPU) contends and persistently provides evidence that in all sectors of the economy, free, open markets with competitive private enterprises serve consumer needs best. For the indigent, it would be better for government to purchase higher quality healthcare at a lower cost from the private sector than to provide the service itself. The HPU argues that patients are harmed when government dictates to healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and other firms in the healthcare industry how to manage their affairs, or at what prices they should sell their products and services. The HPU’s mission is to increase access to high quality healthcare for all South Africans.
FMF solutions to healthcare for the indigent
The FMF’s alternative solutions to improved health care for all include:
- Privatising the provision of health care – via giveaways of public hospitals to those who work in them or sales to those who wish to buy them
- Financing health care for the poor – preferably via state-sponsored vouchers, which the indigent can spend where they choose
- Encouraging more private hospitals by deregulating the industry and eliminating Certificates of Need
- Reducing prices and increasing health care quality through increased competition
- Training more doctors and nurses (the number of doctors is limited to 1,300 a year; this number has remained the same since the 1970s despite increases in the population and the disease burden)
- Allowing the private sector to train doctors and nurses
- Encouraging income-producing medical tourism
- Retaining skilled South Africans and attracting others by removing the limit on skilled foreign doctors
- Deregulating medical schemes so they can offer their clients exactly what they want
- Deregulating pharmacies
- Removing price controls, which send mixed messages to the industry
- Speeding up registration of clinical trials
- Giving those who pay for their own health care a tax deduction
- Allowing low cost insurance options
- Looming NHI disaster would dwarf Eskom by Dr Johann Serfontein
- The Eskom of healthcare by Michael Settas
- NHI model unaffordable and to cause job losses by Jasson Urbach
- Unviable scheme has potential to wreck country’s fragile economy by Jasson Urbach
- SA’s wasted NHI millions could have been spent so much better by Jasson Urbach
Jobs Creation / Labour
South Africa has an unacceptably high and rising level of unemployment. For government to achieve its stated objective of reducing unemployment and stimulating growth, it must urgently address labour market policies and laws that exacerbate unemployment. A significant part of our current work involves educating the public about the consequences of adopting a National Minimum Wage (NMW). There are currently an estimated 9.4 million unemployed – a NMW will just make it that much harder for these individuals to climb onto the first rung of the economic ladder.
- The idea that labour and capital have divergent interests is wrong by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
FMF believes that secure property rights represent one of the most important requirements for the protection of both economic freedom and civil liberties. FMF is very concerned about recent proposals to amend the property rights clause in the Constitution. FMF proposes that:
- All black occupied council-owned urban plots be converted to full ownership (“freehold”) – FMF is working with Ngwathe municipality (Parys, Free State) to convert 20,000 plots to full freehold.
- Superfluous government land be redistributed to the victims of apartheid as a substantial once-off compensation.
- Pre-emptive clauses be removed from existing and future RDP titles.
- In tribal areas, communities be allowed to grant private title over homesteads while maintaining communal rights over arable land.
- The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, 1970 be repealed to make it easier for poor individuals to finance smaller, more affordable plots of land.
Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project
Khaya Lam is an FMF initiative that seeks to reverse the evils of apartheid. FMF Executive Director, Leon Louw, notes: “Black land deprivation was probably the single worst element of apartheid. Since apartheid ended, little has changed. In South Africa today there are still around 5 million black families living as tenants or without ownership rights in houses they have lived in for generations. There has been no systematic conversion of these “council owned” and “traditional community” properties to full unrestricted ownership. The prospects for economic upliftment throughout South Africa through the Khaya Lam national property titling project are exciting and immense”.
Under the project management of Perry Feldman, the FMF’s Khaya Lam project is gaining momentum. In addition to Ngwathe (FMF’s pilot project), FMF is now working in Grabouw, Stellenbosch, Graaff-Reinet, Barkly West, Viljoenskroon, Alexandra, Thanda and Cape Town (Hout Bay, Vukuzenzele, Hillview).
Khaya Lam: Brief progress report
On 3 December, Khaya Lam presented 326 title deeds to residents in Stellenbosch. The titles were sponsored by Johann and Gaynor Rupert of the Reniet Foundation. Jannie Durand of Remgro, Rian Maartens of the Ipic Group and Arthur Keizer of Capitec were there. Leon Louw, executive director of the FMF, spoke about the difference between beneficiaries and recipients. The people present were all recipients. They were receiving what had been taken from them and now being returned. They were not beneficiaries but recipients of rights that had been removed 105 years ago.
Johann Rupert spoke of the fact that he was brought up to remember where he came from. Both his father and mother were children of the depression. In the late 80’s when he, Johann, started understanding the terrible disadvantage that black entrepreneurs laboured under (particularly when it came to ownership of land) he and his father established the SBDT – Small Business Development Trust.
Rupert also made the incredible announcement that besides the 10,000 titles his family was sponsoring, Jannie Durand, Remgro CEO, was sponsoring an additional 10,000 in his personal capacity.
Photos from the presentation can be viewed here.
During the last few months we have completed and are in the process of completing 3,978 title deeds. These are in Cape Town, Ngwathe, Graaff-Reinet, Stellenbosch, Mkuze, Moqaka and Theewaterskloof.
We have pledges of 20,000 from Remgro and Johan Rupert with a further 750 from RTF and 100 from Nedbank. A presentation was made to the Remgro Board outlining what Khaya Lam would like to achieve with its funds, concentrating on the Western Cape and Nkomazi (Mpumalanga), where Remgro has extensive interests.
The Khaya Lam team is undertaking a road show of W Cape towns and cities to better understand what needs to be done. Nkomazi was visited in April. Presentation ceremonies are due to be held in Ngwathe and Stellenbosch in the next 2 months.
Change a family’s life for the better today
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,250 (or a part title deed), please email email@example.com or do so directly through our website here.
PLEASE NOTE: We have a sponsor who donates just R200 per month toward Khaya Lam. His monthly contribution has so far sponsored 6 title deeds, contributing a whopping R600,000 into the economy. And another who sponsors one title deed per month. Why not join them?
- Right to compensation central to protecting human rights by Martin van Staden
- SA can learn from Uganda’s dire history of expropriation without compensation by Mugabi John Socrates
- Land discourse being used as smoke and mirrors by Sindile Vabaza
- It would be deplorable to rush the expropriation amendment by Martin van Staden
- Zimbabwe land lessons for SA by James Peron
On 30 January, Mark Oppenheimer presented How to stop expropriation without compensation. Mark discussed:
- Prominent myths about land reform
- The process undertaken by parliament to amend S25 of the Constitution
- A guide to saving the Constitution and stopping EWC
Mark’s presentation can be viewed here.
- Khaya Lam Land Reform Project kicks off the new year with 101 title deeds
- Poor black citizens continue to suffer EWC
- Submission on Expropriation Bill
Rule of Law
The Rule of Law is a Founding Provision of South Africa’s Constitution but this potentially powerful brake on the executive branch of government has not been playing its proper deterring role. A likely reason for this is that most South Africans do not have an adequate understanding of the true meaning of the rule of law.
There were 2 rule of law presentations at the FMF’s EWC conference.
These can be viewed here and here.
10 imperatives of the Rule of Law
The Rule of Law Project formulated the following 10 imperatives of the Rule of Law.
- All law must be clear, predictable, accessible, not contradictory, and shall not have retrospective effect.
- All legislation that makes provision for discretionary powers, must also incorporate the objective criteria by which those powers are to be exercised. The enabling legislation must, in addition, stipulate the purpose or purposes for which the powers may be exercised.
- All law must apply the principle of equality before the law.
- All law must be applied fairly, impartially, and without fear, favour or prejudice.
- The sole legitimate authority for making substantive law rests with the legislature, which authority shall not be delegated to any other entity.
- No law shall have the aim or the effect of circumventing the final authority of the courts.
- No one may be deprived of or have their property expropriated, except if done with due process for the public interest, and in exchange for market-related, fair and just compensation.
- The law shall afford adequate protection of classical individual rights.
- All law must comply with the overriding principle of reasonableness, which comprehends rationality, proportionality, and effectiveness.
- The legislature and organs of state shall observe due process in the rational exercise of their authority.
- Exploring the constitutional definition of hate speech by Martin van Staden
- SA’s support of Venezuela’s Maduro tramples on the Constitution by Martin van Staden
- When it comes to making laws quality over quantity is preferable by Martin van Staden
- The Rule of Law and moving SA forward by Matthew South
- A free society is an armed society by Martin van Staden
- State’s undermining of Rule of Law in private security regulation puts safety at risk by Gary Moore
On 27 March, Martin van Staden presented The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction. This was the official launch of Martin’s book The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction. /
Every politician and their dog claims to believe in ‘the Rule of Law’. These lauding statements of support rarely seem to lead to any kind of substantive change in South Africa’s corruption-laden political landscape. What, then, is going on? What do people mean when they talk about the Rule of Law? What does the Constitution mean when it says South Africa is founded upon “the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law” in section 1(c)? Is the Rule of Law an abstract jurisprudential concept of interest to academics, or does it have practical significance to ordinary South Africans? Martin also discussed some of the topics and themes in his book.
Martin’s presentation can be viewed here.
- Submission on Hate Speech Bill, version 2
The FMF is concerned about the energy crisis in South Africa, which continues to impact negatively on ordinary South Africans and has deleterious consequences for economic growth in the economy. Eskom, effectively, has a vertical monopoly on the entire system from generation to transmission and a large part of the distribution of electricity. This old, outdated model is slow to respond to changing circumstances. As a result, consumers are left in the dark and asked to consume less electricity during peak-demand periods. The solution: separate the generation from the transmission and distribution of electricity to make trading possible, including the sale of electricity across the grid from generators to large consumers (wheeling); establish competitive wholesale and retail markets. The unbundling of Eskom is the only feasible option to attract independent power producers (IPPs) and to secure our electricity needs moving into the future.
- Misdiagnosis means Eskom’s problems will persist by Chris Hattingh
- Government must take steps to unbundle Eskom by Jasson Urbach
- Eskom was doomed to fail. It’s core problem? Its monopoly by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Government stealth tax to fund ailing Eskom by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- NERSA must give Eskom zero
Some argue that freedom from apartheid has not made a substantial impact on black advancement. Others argue that for blacks to succeed they need government assistance through Reconstruction and Development Policies and Black Economic Empowerment legislation. Still others are of the view that economic freedom and growth, the development of a strong legal framework, and good infrastructure and security, are all that is required for the realisation of human potential.
- Is multilingualism the silver bullet? by Dr Dioné Harley
- Black people can get out of poverty, if the government gets out of their way by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Is there anything to celebrate this Human Rights Day? by Chris Hattingh and Martin van Staden