Quarterly Review July 2021– September 2021


July 2021– September 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.


234 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.
33 INTERVIEWS this quarter on radio and TV.
6 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: 7,448 followers – up from 6,909 
Facebook: 7,193 followers – up from 7,170 
YouTube: 15,414 subscribers – up from 15,223 

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.


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
- Illegal tobacco trade flourishes due to government interference by Martin van Staden 

Submission
- Submission to the World Health Organisation on the Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030


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
- Why economic freedom matters by Sindile Vabaza
- Radical growth only possible if government unshackles the economy by Chris Hattingh
- The usefulness of the Economic Freedom of the World report is in the detail by Professor Richard J. Grant
- SA’s exorbitant tax burden is grossly out of line with the rest of Africa by Dr Brain Benfield
- Economic freedom means opportunity to escape poverty by Chris Hattingh and Fred McMahon
- What is the reasoning behind CompCom Burger King moves? by Zakhele Mthembu
- Economic growth requires an environment in which prices are freely formed by Eustace Davie
- Ideas Matter | Godongwana’s priorities must include dealing with welfare programmes by Chris Hattingh
- More socialism cannot cure SA’s ills by Chris Hattingh
- Downward-trending inflation ensures rand will not become worthless by Professor Richard J. Grant
- DBSA fails to justify the undermining of its investment mandate by Jacques Jonker
- Violence and looting devastate SA; the only way out is economic freedom by Chris Hattingh 

Media releases
- South Africa ranks 84th among 165 jurisdictions in Economic Freedom
- New study shows increased economic freedom leads to greater income mobility for workers and entrepreneurs
- Free Market Foundation: State-Run Fund an ill-considered idea, will add to economic woes

 

LAUNCH: Economic Freedom of the World Report 2021
On 14 September the FMF, in partnership with the Fraser Institute, hosted an e-briefing launch of the 2021 EFW Index. South Africa was ranked 84th out of 165 jurisdictions. The speakers were: Neil Emerick (co-founder of local company NightsBridge), Phumlani Majozi (business and macroeconomics analyst), Rex van Schalkwyk (former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa and chairman of the FMF’s Rule of Law Board of Advisers), Chris Hattingh (FMF Deputy Director), and John Dludlu (Small Business Institute CEO). The respective presentations can be viewed below:

Overview of Economic Freedom of the World 2021 – Neil Emerick
Size of Government – Phumlani Majozi
Legal System and Property Rights – Rex van Schalkwyk
Freedom to Trade Internationally – Chris Hattingh
Red Tape and De/regulation – John Dludlu


ENERGY

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.

Media release
- Electricity reform in word only?


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.


FINANCIAL SECTOR

The purpose of the FMF’s Finance Policy Unit is to promote the application of free market principles to financial markets.

Article
- SA insurance ombudsmen: Losing their way? by Robert Vivian


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.

Article
- Eastern Cape health department woes make it the poster child for gross ineptitude by Michael Settas


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 


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 | Here’s how South Africa can address the unemployment crisis by Chris Hattingh
- The basic income grant (BIG) – an analysis by Sindile Vabaza
- Universal Basic Income Grant, catastrophe loading by Riaan Salie
- Letter: Basic income grant will increase dependence on the state by Chris Hattingh
- Addressing SA’s unemployment crisis requires a radical policy shift by Mpiyakhe Dhlamini
- Government interference and rising unemployment by James Peron 

Submission
​- Comment on the National Minimum Wage to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Commission, 2021


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.
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)
The Khaya Lam Land Reform Project 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”.

Change a family’s life for the better today
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,600 (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?


Khaya Lam – BetterBond title deed ceremony

One of our great partners, BetterBond, produced a series of videos from a 2021 title deed event. The videos can be viewed at the links below:


On September 15, Temba Nolutshungu participated at a handing over of title deeds event in Worcester (Breede Valley Municipality) which was attended by the executive mayor, the deputy mayor, a couple of councillors and of course the recipients of title deeds. At the municipality’s request, as always, Judith Skhosana printed and couriered copies of our booklet Your property, your rights, which is available in Afrikaans, English, Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu.
On September 23, the Breede Valley municipality presented title deeds to new homeowners in Zweletemba, reporting: “The handover ceremony was very successful. Most of the new home owners came to collect their Title Deeds, we have even managed to hand over Title Deeds of the previous Title Deed Ceremony.” Present were the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, a Ward Councillor, the Human Settlement Manager, a Communication Officer and several Housing Officials.  

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.

Submission

- Submission on Revised Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

Research
Martin van Staden contributed a chapter to the Fraser Institute’s 2021 Economic Freedom of the World Report. In ‘The Dangers of South Africa’s Proposed Policy of Confiscating Property,’ van Staden writes: “For indeed expropriation (elsewhere known as compulsory purchase, takings, or eminent domain) and compensation are inseverable from one another, throughout history and around the world. International law requires compensation to be paid upon expropriation, as does every legal system in the open and democratic world.”
The chapter can be accessed
here.


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.

 

Media release
- FMF statement on the Zuma saga
 
Submission
- Submission on Firearms Control Amendment Bill


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.


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.

FMF's Trade and Innovation Policy Initiative (TIPI)  has as its focus advocacy against various barriers to trade, innovation, and growth in the country.

Articles
- Letter: Less interventionism needed, not more by Chris Hattingh
- Trade reforms to boost economic recovery by Chris Hattingh
- Independent Ports Authority a step in the right direction by Chris Hattingh 

Media release
- Free Market Foundation: Forced localisation will only add to unemployment crisis
 

RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION
Key Issues for Reforming the World Trade Organization

Chris Hattingh contributed to a new monograph from the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance.
The members of the GTIPA believe the World Trade Organization (WTO) can play a critical role as a forum for the establishment of rules that enable global trade to occur in a free, fair, and market-oriented manner in accordance with the foundational principles of national treatment, nondiscrimination, transparency, and reciprocity and serves as a forum for the (ideally) impartial, rules-based, and timely adjudication of trade disputes among member nations.
A well-functioning WTO is indispensable to a well-functioning international economy. Unfortunately, the WTO is an increasingly constrained organization: It has failed to deliver any new significant trade-liberalizing agreements since the original Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in 1996, progress on the Doha Round remains interminably stalled, and the Appellate Body (AB) system appears broken.
Perhaps most worryingly, some nations, particularly China, have elected to embrace economic and trade strategies and policies that are fundamentally antithetical and inconsonant with their WTO commitments, with the WTO proving powerless to effectively intercede.
The monograph can be read
here.


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
- Emigration is depriving SA of critically needed wealth by James Peron
- Cabinet reshuffle is meaningless without ideological change by Riaan Salie
- Why I trust people more than I trust politicians by James Peron


FMF HISTORY SERIES
If you would like to know more about FMF's 46-year history, 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.
 
If you have any photographs or tales from FMF’s past, we would welcome you sharing them with us.


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