Quarterly Review: July 2020 – September 2020


Progress through freedom

Quarterly Review
July 2020 – September 2020

FMF Projects
The FMF’s projects for 2020 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, 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.

248 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.

32 INTERVIEWS this quarter on radio and TV.

4 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: 6,037 followers – up from 5,819 in previous quarter

Facebook: 6,261 followers – up from 6,168 in previous quarter

YouTube: 507 videos; 4,051 subscribers – up from 3,837 in previous quarter; 442,909 views – up from 417,609 in previous quarter

FMF researchers Martin van Staden, Mpiyakhe Dhlamini, Jacques Jonker and Chris Hattingh continue to do weekly vlogs and podcasts on a wide range of topics. In addition to the weekly ‘Free Marketeers’ vlog which features three of them discussing topics together, they often 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:

  • Don't wait for change; be the change - Pavlo Phitidis – 179 views
  • Lockdown 2020: Undermining liberty - A discussion with Jeffrey Tucker – 1,086 views
  • Education on ice and restaurant industry takes to the streets – 236 views
  • NHI lockdown fail, SAA to receive more funding...from somewhere – 189 views
  • Lessons for SA from Thomas Sowell, Perils of a command economy – 449 views
  • Prof Vivian on competition theory & government intervention - Episode 1 – 146 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)

Covid-19 2020 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.


  • EWC not the answer for post-COVID-19 South Africa by Chris Hattingh
  • Draconian lockdown forces hard choices by Chris Hattingh

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.


  • Prohibition has never and will never lead to smokers quitting by Martin van Staden
  • SA’s ban on alcohol will prove more damaging than alcohol itself by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
  • For each day of cigarette ban, South Africa loses 1.5 community clinics 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.       


  • Let economic freedom and trust be South Africa’s Heritage by Chris Hattingh
  • Socialist economic planning is disastrous for SA women and children by Sindile Vabaza
  • Letter: SA is not out of ideas or hope yet by Chris Hattingh
  • Perils of rising state power and dwindling personal rights by Richard J. Grant
  • Tread carefully with calls for ‘free data’ because it’s another promise government might not fulfil by Martin van Staden
  • What does 5G mean for our lives? by Dr Kelvin Kemm
  • Why state stimulus measures are like (bad) karma by Neil Emerick
  • For SA to prosper the state must stop trying to kill the private sector by Zakhele Mthembu
  • The Competition Commission gets ‘excessive pricing’ totally wrong by Zakhele Mthembu
  • Radical deregulation and liberalisation to lower data prices: Lock-down ICASA by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
  • Patrick Mahomes’s $503 million contract offers a crucial lesson in value creation and economic freedom by Chris Hattingh
  • If SA’s serious about changing course it must adopt Sowell’s ideas of freedom by Chris Hattingh

Media releases

  • Global economic freedom was up slightly in the past year — South Africa ranks 90th among 162 jurisdictions

FMF event
On 10 September, the FMF hosted the launch of the 2020 edition of the Economic Freedom of the World Index. Leon Louw presented the figures from the newest edition, highlighted economic trends in South Africa in recent years, and pointed to areas where the Government can improve the country’s freedom score in coming years.

You can watch Leon’s presentation 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


  • Covid-19 and the case against a state-run National Health Insurance by Michael Settas
  • NHI will only ‘plague’ private sector with public health corruption by Chris Hattingh
  • The COVID-19 response shows government can't handle NHI by Chris Hattingh


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. 


  • Unemployment: The dream is still deferred by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
  • Any job is better than no job; any income better than none by Lindelwa Fuku

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).

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.

An appeal to Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

Appeal to raise the amounts for the purposes of Section 18(3) of the Administration of Estates Act, 1965 (Act no. 66 of 1965)

As a group of concerned civil society organisations working closely with some of the most marginalised communities in South Africa, we urgently appealed to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services to increase the threshold for “Section 18(3) Estates”. The threshold was last raised to its current level of R250,000 in 2014 (Government Gazette no. 38238) and has therefore not been adjusted to compensate for property price inflation and other market related factors that have served to increase the value of properties.

To read the full letter click here.


  • The latest economic freedom report shows a worrying decline of property rights in SA by Alexander Hammond
  • ULTRA must assist all people to get title deeds, especially women by Lindelwa Fuku
  • Potential unintended consequences of Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights (ULTRA) Amendment Bill, 2020 by Eustace Davie
  • The importance of secure property rights for women by Sindile Vabaza
  • EWC is a zero-sum game that will lead to more poverty and misery by Riaan Salie
  • Bulelani Qolani and the problem of urban land reform by Sindile Vabaza
  • Land expropriation without compensation: Lessons from Venezuela paint dire future by Martin van Staden

Media releases

  • The S25 Amendment Bill must not proceed
  • Ministerial discretion under the ULTRA Amendment Bill will cause land dispossession on a huge scale

FMF Event
On 30 September, the FMF and Business Leadership South Africa hosted a join panel discussion on land reform and expropriation without compensation. BLSA was represented by BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso and Tebele Luthuli. Martin van Staden and Temba A. Nolutshungu represented the FMF.

You can watch the discussion here.

On 22 July, Martin van Staden participated in a discussion, Property Rights: The Seen and the Unseen. Hosted by African Students for Liberty, they unpacked the importance of strong property rights for a prosperous society, with special focus on property rights within the African context.

On 18 August, Eustace Davie presented on the topic of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights (ULTRA) Amendment 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 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.


  • Only a free market and disciplined Parliament can end corruption by Martin van Staden
  • As the lockdown is normalised, is the rule of man overriding our liberties? by Zakhele Mthembu
  • How the language of lockdown undermines the rule of law by Rex van Schalkwyk
  • ‘Ban cabinet from giving taxpayer-guaranteed debt aid to SOEs’ by Jacques Jonker
  • Proposed lockdown ‘developmental mandate’ for the Reserve Bank is unconstitutional by Jacques Jonker
  • SAA billions and a stillborn section of the Constitution by Martin van Staden
  • Proposed amendment of PFMA deserves multi-partisan support by Jacques Jonker

Discussion event
On 10 September, Martin van Staden participated in a Maroela Media panel discussion about the crumbling of local government around South Africa and how community and enterprise might prove to be solutions. Martin explained that the nature of government does not lend itself to quality service delivery, particularly not in undeveloped political cultures like South Africa's. He recommended that South Africans find solutions in community initiatives and demand political decentralisation of municipalities.

You can watch the discussion here.


  • Submission on 2020 annual review of the Constitution


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


  • Inequality in SA and beyond – a peek behind the curtain by James Peron
  • Taks op erfgeld moreel bankrot by Temba A Nolutshungu
  • South Africa’s political culture promotes government neglect by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
  • The West may have to fight each other off for African labour to sustain welfare states by James Peron
  • Taxing inheritance will entrench, not decrease, racial inequality by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini and Lindelwa Fuku
  • WhatsApp stokvels: Liberalise informal banking sector to fuel growth by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini

Media releases

  • Free Market Foundation (FMF) tribute to George Bizos lifelong anti-apartheid activist and defender of human rights and FMF Luminary
Contact Us  
TEL +27 11 884 0270 | FAX +27 11 884 5672 | EMAIL fmf@mweb.co.za
PO Box 4056, Cramerview 2060 | Block 5, Bryanston Gate, 170 Curzon Road, Bryanston

Click here to unsubscribe from future emails





Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE