Quarterly Review January 2021 - March 2021

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January 2021 – March 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 and Innovation, 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.
300 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.
25 INTERVIEWS this quarter on radio and TV.
7 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: 6,409 followers – up from 6,133 in previous quarter
Facebook:  7,075 followers – up from 6,381 in previous quarter
YouTube: 543 videos; 14,634 subscribers – up from 11,109 in previous quarter; 1,136,409 views – up from 832,709 in previous quarter

Podcasts
The Free Marketeers podcast series continues at strength. Chris Hattingh hosts and administers the podcasts. A few of the recent episodes:

  • There is no Supreme Constitution: A Critique of Statist-individualist Constitutionalism, with Professor Koos Malan – 696 views

  • South Africa in the world in 2021, with Frans Cronje – 81,700 views

  • The future of Chile hangs in the balance, with Natalia González – 540 views

  • The Expropriation Bill's Great Reset of property rights, with Martin van Staden – 18,951 views

  • Profits and employment in South Africa, with Mike Schüssler – 3,130 views

  • Unpacking South Africa's 2021 State of the Nation Address – 1,617 views

  • South Africa's devastated small businesses, with Darlene Menzies – 947 views

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 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.
Watch these two golden oldies digitised and uploaded to our YouTube channel:
South Africa: The solution ||||| A constitution worth fighting for

Cartoons
See latest below. 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.

Articles

  • Alcohol ban the bluntest tool in fight against Covid-19 by Chris Hattingh

  • Ons kan lesse leer by Britte by Chris Hattingh

  • Letter: Taxes for vaccines is a disgrace by Chris Hattingh

  • The collateral damage of the lockdown continues to unfold by Chris Hattingh

  • South Africa’s lockdown policies exacerbated hunger crisis by Riaan Salie

Media releases

  • In honour of Human Rights Week, the Free Market Foundation demands that government not cancel Easter Weekend with another hard lockdown

  • Flying the rich is now not only at the expense of the poor, but of the sick and vulnerable in society

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.

Articles

  • Letter: State meddling costs the nation by Chris Hattingh

  • Making sense of the ‘evil’ of price gouging, AKA price flexibility by Zakhele Mthembu

  • Letter:  Reject cellphone tax to fund SABC by Chris Hattingh

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

  • SA’s cellphone network is an astonishing success given state’s effort to thwart it by Christoph Klein and Leon Louw

  • Capitalism’s benevolent circle brings greater prosperity by James Peron

  • “Power to the people” means economic freedom not state paternalism by Chris Hattingh

  • SA experiments with socialism at its own peril, as others stop by Chris Hattingh

  • Hoop in medemens, nie in die regering nie by Chris Hattingh

  • Government should tighten its own belt by cutting unnecessary expenditure by Sindile Vabaza

  • State moves on radio spectrum and fixed infrastructure a grave mistake by Ivo Vegter

  • South Africa needs economic freedom now more than ever by Chris Hattingh

  • Laws, regulations and taxes that discourage wealth creation must be repealed by Chris Hattingh

  • Ramaphosa’s move to control mobile data prices is a grave mistake by Ivo Vegter

  • Why economic centralism is bad for economic development by Ephraim Modise

  • Bezos-Musk wealth dance shows the folly of worrying about ‘inequality’ by Martin van Staden

  • Another look at SA’s lauded competition law by Zakhele Mthembu

  • Only a free market can halt SA's decline in 2021 by Chris Hattingh

 Media releases

  • Vuyani Jarana – Leon Louw SAA Wager Joint Statement

  • South Africa should heed Venezuela’s and Zimbabwe’s abandonment of socialism

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.

Live podcasts
On 15 February, Chris Hattingh hosted a live podcast interview with André de Ruyter, Group Chief Executive (GCE) of Eskom Holdings. They unpacked the current state of play at Eskom, covered current challenges, as well as possible solutions and a way forward for the state-owned enterprise.
The interview garnered widespread media coverage across online and print publications, and TV and ratio stations such as: BusinessDay, Mail & Guardian, IOL, Sowetan, The Citizen, BusinessReport, Briefly, TimesLive, SAfm, SABC, Channel Africa, PowerFM, MyBroadband, Daily Dispatch, OFM, as well as numerous local newspapers.
You can watch the interview here.
On 18 January, Chris Hattingh hosted foremost South African energy and mining expert Ted Blom on a live episode of The Freemarketeers podcast. Ted presented his views of the causes behind the country’s latest bout of loadshedding, explained many of the structural problems plaguing Eskom, and gave his take on the strong possibility of increased loadshedding over coming months.
You can view the discussion here

Articles

  • Change the incentives – SA needs competition in energy by James Peron 

Submission

  • Leon Louw presented to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) on the “energy mix.”

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.

Articles

  • Community finance initiatives to alleviate poverty in SA? by Sindile Vabaza

  • Nigeria’s forex crisis shows that legal incentives are insufficient for investors by Theophilus Oladipo 

Submission
On 31 March, the FMF made a submission to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on the viability of a domestic card scheme in South Africa.

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

  • Given the perilous condition of state health-care, the NHI might finally kill it by Temba A Nolutshungu

  • The socialist experiment has failed universally, so why should SA’s National Health Insurance be any different? by Michael Settas

  • Ivermectin is a WHO-listed essential medicine but banned in South Africa. Why? by Eustace Davie

  • Targeting medical scheme reserves for vaccine funding is NHI by stealth by Michael Settas

  • Letter: Regulations undermine health care for all by Chris Hattingh

 Media release

  • South Africa should not experiment with deadly NHI

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

  • Proposed bill would compel larger enterprises to deal with small businesses by Gary Moore

  • New small enterprise bill will discourage dealings with SMMEs by Gary Moore

  • Doen weg met rompslomp wat klein sake doodduk by Temba A Nolutshungu

  • The true state of disaster: Policymakers infected with inertia and the unemployed with lost hope by Temba A Nolutshungu  

Media releases

  • New small business legislation: making law subject to value judgments is destructive to the Rule of Law

Submission
On 9 February, Gary Moore made a submission to the Department of Small Business Development on the draft National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill, 2020.

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 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
With the steady lifting of COVID-19-lockdown restrictions, the first quarter of 2021 saw Khaya Lam – under the leadership of Perry Feldman – get back to full-steam, with numerous title deed ceremonies taking place (all with the necessary social-distancing precautions in place). Herewith a few of the highlights from the last 3 months.

  • Khaya Lam reached the incredible milestone of 4,000 titles completed and in process in Ngwathe, Free State.

  • On 11 March, 68 deeds were presented in Edenville, Free State, in partnership with BetterBond. Chris Hattingh attended on behalf of the FMF. A further 92 titles will be ready by July.

  • On 11 March, 80 title deeds were presented in Grabouw. Temba A Nolutshungu attended on behalf of the FMF.

  • On 18 March, 50 deeds were presented in Stellenbosch. Temba A Nolutshungu attended on behalf of the FMF.

  • On 18 March, 100 deeds were presented in Kwakwatsi, also known as Koppies, Free State. Leon Louw attended on behalf of the FMF. 

Upcoming events:

  • In Saldanha Bay, 166 title deeds are due for presentation in April/May.

  • At least 3 events will take place across the Free State during April and May.

  • In Bloekomsbos, Cape Town, 166 titles are due for presentation.

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

  • The President’s Human Rights Day hypocrisy on expropriation by Martin van Staden

  • Reminding ourselves why EWC is unnecessary by Martin van Staden

  • ‘Abandonment’ in the 2020 Expropriation Bill by Martin van Staden

  • Don’t get lost in the details of expropriation by Martin van Staden

  • Afrikareg en eiendomsregte by Zakhele Mthembu

  • In South Africa, property rights should vest in individuals by Zakhele Mthembu 

Media releases

  • Human Rights conferred by title deeds to rightful owners on Human Rights Day in Stellenbosch

  • From the President’s Office: Fatally flawed public participation for the Expropriation Bill

  • Very special title deed 99th birthday present for Mrs Nkoko as 100 deeds presented in Koppies, Kwakwatsi, Free State

  • Public participation and impact study on expropriation a constitutional imperative

  • 68 new home owners in Free State sponsored by Betterbond and FMF’s Khaya Lam

  • The Expropriation Bill strikes at the heart of property rights, and poor black people are most at risk

  • Despite Covid, 115 residents in Zwelethemba, Worcester WC, to receive title deeds and become home owners 

Submissions
On 20 February, Martin van Staden made a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure on the Expropriation Bill, 2020.
On 18 March 2021, Leon Louw made an additional submission to the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure on the Expropriation Bill, 2020.

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 two 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

  • Why we cannot give the government a whiff of power over the internet by Martin van Staden

  • SA needs a police service geared to serve the people by Martin van Staden

  • Getting our crime crisis under control means starting at the top by Temba A Nolutshungu

  • Political freedom in the age of COVID-19 pandemic by Mukundi Budeli

  • Letter: Big state, big corruption by Chris Hattingh

  • Cannabis bill a step in the right direction, but privacy and equality concerns remain by Mukundi Budeli

  • We cannot depend on the constitution to protect our freedoms by Martin van Staden

  • South Africa’s Constitution does not envision socialism, but freedom by Martin van Staden

Submission
On 15 February, Zakhele Mthembu made a submission to the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies on the White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework.

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.
It was in this spirit of tackling grinding unemployment and poverty, that the FMF established a Trade and Innovation Policy Unit in March 2021. This unit has as its focus advocacy against various barriers to trade, innovation, and growth in the country.

Articles

  • Increased trade - exactly what Africa needs post-Covid-19 by Chris Hattingh

  • Africa’s new Free Trade Agreement could mark the dawn of a new era by Chris Hattingh

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

  • Liberty is indivisible; it is not possible to have freedom for some by Temba A Nolutshungu

  • Partnerships, education tweaks will clear SA’s path to global competitiveness by Riaan Salie

  • Inequality and politics by James Peron


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