Quarterly Review April 2021– June 2021



April 2021– June 2021



FMF PROJECTS

The FMF’s projects for 2021 include: Consumer rights, Economic freedom / Economic growth, Energy, Financial sector, Healthcare, Jobs creation / Labour, Land reform / property rights (with a particular focus on #EWC – Expropriation Without Compensation), Rule of Law, Trade, Transformation, as well as ad hoc issues as they arise.



MEDIA

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..
263 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.
40 INTERVIEWS this quarter on radio and TV. 
17 MEDIA RELEASES this quarter. See projects below for more information.



The 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.


Twitter: 6,909 followers – up from 6,409 in previous quarter
Facebook:  7,170 followers – up from 7,075 in previous quarter
YouTube: 15,223 subscribers – up from 14,634 in previous quarter; 89,300 views




PODCASTS

The Free Marketeers podcast series continues at strength.
 
A few of the latest episodes:

  • SA's unemployment crisis and how government policy exacerbates inequality with Mike Schüssler – 757 views
  • Future Tense: Reflections on My Troubled Land - Book discussion with Tony Leon – 514 views
  • Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom with Professor Johan Fourie – 475 views
  • How do we ignite growth in South Africa in 2021? with Cas Coovadia – 418 views
  • Countering the Corrupt with Paul Hoffman – 652 views
  • With red tape strangling the economy, can we be hopeful of a post-Covid economic recovery? with Busisiwe Mavuso – 737 views
Videos
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.



CARTOONS
 Previous cartoons published by FMF can be viewed here.




PROJECTS
(note: all articles, media releases and submissions are available on the FMF website)



COVID-19 LOCKDOWN


The coronavirus epidemic swept the world, and South Africa, in early 2020.

The FMF recognised the serious threat which came with the lockdown; a threat aimed at the country’s hard-won civil liberties after the dawn of democracy in 1994. Amongst the work that the FMF engaged in were: research, reports, articles, media releases, TV and radio interviews, podcasts with guests, extensive social media engagement, consultations with law firms on implications for peoples’ rights, and more. The FMF drew attention to the economic and legal implications of the government-imposed lockdown, and further advocated for policies which would boost growth in post-epidemic South Africa.

Article

  • Entstof-apartheid, of net jou eie gesloer? by Chris Hattingh 
Media releases
  • PANDA (Pandemics – Data & Analytics) award ceremony, 23 June 2021; Opening remarks by FMF Executive Committee member, Martin van Staden
  • Free Market Foundation (FMF) bestows award upon PANDA for championing freedom during the pandemic


CONSUMER RIGHTS


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 lockdown regulations, for example the ban on the sale of tobacco products, and two bans on the sale of alcohol, had devastating effects on people’s livelihoods, and greatly inflated the prices of the goods for consumers.

Article

  • The Super League may have gone down in flames, but there’s much to be learnt from the fire that consumed it by Zakhele Mthembu


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.    
 
Articles

  • Government doesn’t seem ready to cede SAA control by Jacques Jonker
  • Letter: Have we reached the point where productive citizens need to shrug? by Chris Hattingh
  • Wealth tax: A bad idea by Sindile Vabaza
  • Letter: Government has no business in executive pay debate by Chris Hattingh
  • The South African Post Office’s Idea of Monopoly is Wrong by Zakhele Mthembu
  • The state is consuming SA’s economic growth by Garth Zietsman
  • Why government should stick to core competencies and let the private sector do its thing by Sindile Vabaza
  • Letter: Bitter pill only way forward for state by Chris Hattingh
  • Ideas matter | The economy won’t grow while government punishes success by Chris Hattingh
  • Radical change needed to improve SA economy’s growth prospects by Chris Hattingh
  • The eternal blessings of profit, which creates all economies by Temba A Nolutshungu 
Media releases
  • The Free Market Foundation pegs 21 May as Tax Freedom Day 2021
  • Temporary Covid emergency spectrum should stay where it is
  • FMF Launches Socio Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA); Government ICT Policy is Harming Consumers
Panel discussion
In June, Martin van Staden participated in a panel discussion as part of the Atlas Network’s annual Africa Liberty Forum. Martin discussed the importance of a culture constitutionalism over and above the mere presence of a written constitution, and cautioned that South Africa was moving away from such a culture with its proposed property and firearm confiscation policies. Martin concluded by emphasising the importance of narratives and stories to advocacy for freedom, and that merely being factually correct rarely wins the day.
 


ENERGY


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.

The FMF proposes a simple, one-word solution to alleviate this dire situation: Changing one word in the 2006 Electricity Regulation Act. To learn more about the proposal, click here.
  
Major policy victory
In June President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that businesses would be able to generate their own electricity up to 100MW. The policy shift comes after years of advocacy work by the FMF, and could unlock real economic growth for the country, if implemented correctly.

Articles

  • New electricity generation cap increase doesn’t go far enough by Nicholas Woode-Smith
 Media releases
  • Free Market Foundation applauds Cabinet heeding sound policy advice, now time to double down
  • Free Market Foundation proposes immediate reforms to stop rolling blackouts
Submission
  • Comment on Electricity Regulation Act amendment by Eustace Davie, click here


FINANCIAL SECTOR


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.

Article

  • The viability of a domestic credit card scheme for South Africa by Richard J Grant


HEALTHCARE


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 
Articles
  • Ideas Matter | NHI will be the corrupt elite’s biggest cash cow yet by Chris Hattingh
  • Letter: NHI is doomed and flawed by Chris Hattingh
  • Busting the NHI myth by Chris Hattingh
  • Health Professions Council in is the Twilight Zone on the NHI and medical aid schemes by Michael Settas
  • Governments are ill-equipped for market participation by Richard J Grant 
Media releases
  • NHI will not achieve universal health coverage, say experts at Free Market Foundation panel
  • Removing intellectual property rights for Covid vaccines will do more harm than good, says international coalition
  • Free Market Foundation condemns plans for expropriation of medical aids

Event
On 26 May, the FMF’s Health Policy Unit hosted a roundtable event on South Africa’s proposed National Health Insurance. The speakers were Professor Alex van den Heever (Wits), Patrick Bracher (Norton Rose Fulbright), and Michael Settas. They discussed governance and technical issues with the proposed scheme, financial implications, as well as Constitutional considerations.

All of the presentations can be viewed here.
 
FMF HPU Chairman
The FMF is very happy to announce that Michael Settas was elected as the new Chairman of the Health Policy Unit. 



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 having a National Minimum Wage (NMW). There are currently an estimated 11 people million unemployed – a NMW makes it that much harder for these individuals to climb onto the first rung of the economic ladder.
 
Articles

  • Ideas matter | The government-imposed unemployment crisis continues apace by Chris Hattingh
  • Getting serious about unemployment by James Peron
 Media release
  • The solution to SA’s youth unemployment crisis waits in plain sight, says Free Market Foundation




LAND REFORM


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:

  1. 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.
  2. Superfluous government land be redistributed to the victims of apartheid as a substantial once-off compensation.
  3. Pre-emptive clauses be removed from existing and future RDP titles.
  4. In tribal areas, communities be allowed to grant private title over homesteads while maintaining communal rights over arable land.
  5. 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 President 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”.
 
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). 
 


Tribute to Perry Feldman

It is with great sadness that we notify our FMF and Khaya Lam family that Perry Feldman, Khaya Lam’s Project Manager, passed away in June, of a Covid-related heart attack. His passing is a terrible personal loss to his family, friends and colleagues, and a devastating loss to the Khaya Lam project.
 
Perry dedicated the last years of his life to seeing the joys and security of private property rights extended to the most vulnerable South Africans. He took a grand idea and made it a practical reality.
When Perry took over management of Khaya Lam, only 100 former council tenants had received title deeds to their homes. Today, over 10,000 have either already become home-owners or are in the process of becoming home-owners.

Perry, with his wife Veronica always by his side, literally changed the lives of thousands for the better. This will be his awesome and lasting legacy.

We will miss his generous spirit and kind nature and boundless energy to do good in the world.
 
For more about Perry, please read this article in the Parys Gazette.
 
Khaya Lam: Brief progress report
On 29 April, in celebration of Freedom Day, 77 title deeds were handed to new home owners in the Hillside Village Development, Idas Valley, Stellenbosch. They were distributed door-to-door by four teams from Housing Administration. The Executive Mayor, the Municipal Manager and Temba Nolutshungu handed over title deeds of the oldest recipients.

On 11 May, 113 title deeds were handed out in two sessions in De Doorns. Temba attended and spoke.

On 28 May, in the Franschhoek town hall, 90 title deeds for Kayamandi in Stellenbosch were handed to new homeowners. Temba Nolutshungu represented the FMF and spoke to those who attended.

On 24 June, 13 title deeds were handed to new homeowners in Cloetesville by the Stellenbosch municipality. The ceremony was attended by Temba Nolutshungu.
 
Change a family’s life for the better today
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,500 (or a part title deed), please email chrishattingh@fmfsa.org 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?
 
Upward Globility: Whose Land is it Anyway? | South Africa
Upward Globility, hosted by Australian traveller Vale Sloane, focuses on stories of Atlas Network partners that are working to create prosperity for all by supporting local opportunities for entrepreneurship, education, and community growth.
 
In South Africa, the legacy of apartheid has left millions of families without the legal rights to the land they live on. In the first episode, Sloane travelled to South Africa to learn about the FMF’s Khaya Lam Project.
 
“Protection of property is sacrosanct and at the core of individual liberty and freedom,” said Temba Nolutshungu. Khaya Lam, which means “my home” in the local Xhosa language, aspires to help more than 20 million South Africans make home ownership a reality by securing fully-tradable freehold title to the properties they currently occupy.

You can watch the full video here.

Articles

  • Letter: Property brings prosperity by Chris Hattingh
  • The cloud-cuckooland jurisprudence of “nil compensation” by Martin van Staden
  • Vrywillige ruilhandel en beskerming van private Eiendom deur Temba A Nolutshungu
  • Grondwetwysiging en onteiening sonder vergoeding by Professor Robert Vivian
  • Expropriation is not needed to achieve land reform, there are better alternatives by Temba A Nolutshungu 

Media release

  • An incredible tally of titles deeds … April is a good month for FMF’s Khaya Lam titling project


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.

  1. All law must be clear, predictable, accessible, not contradictory, and shall not have retrospective effect.
  2. 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.
  3. All law must apply the principle of equality before the law.
  4. All law must be applied fairly, impartially, and without fear, favour or prejudice.
  5. The sole legitimate authority for making substantive law rests with the legislature, which authority shall not be delegated to any other entity.
  6. No law shall have the aim or the effect of circumventing the final authority of the courts.
  7. 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.
  8. The law shall afford adequate protection of classical individual rights.
  9. All law must comply with the overriding principle of reasonableness, which comprehends rationality, proportionality, and effectiveness.
  10. The legislature and organs of state shall observe due process in the rational exercise of their authority. 
Articles
  • It’s time to get the constitution involved by Jacques Jonker
  • Why SA should amend the Constitution to enforce discipline in the fiscus by Jacques Jonker
  • Ideas Matter | Serious mind-shift needed to address corruption by Chris Hattingh
  • Letter: Will the Covid-19 agencies stay on? by Mukundi Budeli
  • Letter: State capture no surprise by Chris Hattingh
  • What freedom means by Rex van Schalkwyk
  • Why did state capture happen? by Ken Davie 
Media releases
  • New equality bill leaves too much unexplained, threatens constitutional coherence, argues FMF
  • Icasa’s intention for Covid emergency spectrum to be returned is ultra vires
  • Rule of Law Project intervenes in Mboweni ConCourt case; defends separation of powers and non-racialism
  • We remember Collins Khosa and all the other victims of lockdown enforcement
Submissions
  • On 25 June, the FMF’s Gary Moore made a Comment on proposed amendments to the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.  
  • On 24 May, the FMF made a submission to the Standing Committee on Finance on the Fiscal Responsibility Bill. On 1 June, Chris Hattingh presented the FMF’s submission to the Standing Committee, via Zoom. 

Constitutional Court appearance
On 25 May, Advocate Mark Oppenheimer appeared before the Constitutional Court on behalf of the FMF’s Rule of Law Project. The case relates to the use of BEE and preferential procurement.

The Court Media Summary states:

The Rule of Law Project submits that the Minister acted ultra vires for the following reasons. First, the power to determine and implement preferential procurement policies is in the domain of organs of state. Specifically, that section 5 only confers a general power on the Minister and section 2 confers a more specific power on organs of state to determine and implement their own preferential procurement policies. Second, the 2017 Regulations overemphasise race as they focus on black people, while prior versions referred to “historically disadvantaged individuals”, which included the broader group of women and persons with disabilities. The 2017 Regulations also do not meet the requirements of fairness, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness required in section 217(1) of the Constitution as the pre-requirement of race in the procurement process distorts the State’s ability to determine fair market prices.

You can watch Mark’s statement here.

Speaking event
On 26 April, Martin van Staden presented at the Property Rights Alliance’s Innovating the Future: Celebrating World IP Day 2021. With a range of speakers from around the world, the event focused on the importance of intellectual property rights for innovation and economic growth.

You can watch the full event here.



TRADE AND INNOVATION


After the devastation wrought by the government’s COVID-19-related lockdowns – the unemployment rate is over 42%, and more than 11 million South Africans are currently unemployed – the FMF recognised both the massive challenges facing the country, but also the great opportunities that exist for real progress and transformation to be achieved. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area stands out as perhaps the eminent opportunity for African countries to embrace policies of increased trade; the FMF aims to influence government to implement the recommendations of this agreement, to the benefit of South Africans, and people across the continent.

The Trade and Innovation Policy Unit has as its focus advocacy against various barriers to trade, innovation, and growth in the country.
 
Articles

  • Africa free trade agreement could provide necessary momentum for improving SA’s port infrastructure by Chris Hattingh
  • Growing protectionism and mercantilism undermine liberal advancements by Mukundi Budeli 
Media release
  • Free Market Foundation partners with new African free trade initiative 
Panel discussion
In June, Chris Hattingh participated in a panel discussion as part of the Atlas Network’s annual Africa Liberty Forum. The panel focused on the potential of increased trade and liberalisation attitudes for Africa’s future economic prospects.
 
FMF, GTIPA and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
In early 2021, Chris Hattingh had proposed that the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) write a welcome letter and statement on trade principles to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO’s Director-General and the first African woman to fill this post. GTIPA approved Chris’s proposal and he was asked to prepare a first draft on behalf of GTIPA.

The letter resulted in an online meeting on 8 April with the WTO to “explore possible areas of collaboration.”

The attendees:
  • Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF; GTIPA
  • Chris Hattingh, Deputy Director, FMF
  • Chris Caine, President, Center for Global Enterprise; GTIPA
  • Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute; GTIPA
  • Edwini Kessie, Chief of Staff to the new WTO DG
  • Martin Roy, WTO
  • Kyungjin Song, President of the Institute for Global Economics (IGE), South Korea; GTIPA
  • Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President and chief executive officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Ghana

It was a fruitful meeting; the WTO faces massive challenges, and they are very receptive to any policy insights & analysis that the GTIPA members can provide.
 
In June 2021 Chris Hattingh was appointed to the Executive Board of the GTIPA. 



TRANSFORMATION


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.
 
Articles

  • Proposed firearm law is anti-poor, anti-women by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
  • Letter: SA public policy gone mad by Neil Emerick
  • Why affirmative action policies are politically, economically and morally bankrupt by Temba A Nolutshungu
  • Letter Lessons for flighty leaders by Neil Emerick
  • The roots of ANC animus towards free market ideals by Sindile Vabaza
  • Crisis in SA tertiary education: Whose debt is it anyway? by Mukundi Budeli


 
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