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South Africa ranks 84th out of 165 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2021 Annual Report, that we have released in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. In 2000, South Africa ranked 58th on the list of countries analysed.
While we acknowledge the positive structural reforms currently underway by government – most notably the lifting of the self-generation threshold to 100MW – command control plans of enforced localisation stand to undo any potential positive upsides of other reforms.
The Department of Social Development’s Green Paper on Comprehensive Social Security and Retirement Reform will, if adopted, result in the most harm for those it is ostensibly intended to benefit. We call on government to urgently reconsider any proposals that increase the state’s power over citizens’ financial affairs and urges all South Africans to resist the proposals contained in the paper.
According to Peter Attard Montalto (head of Capital Markets Research at Intellidex) the violence and looting that took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July 2021 cost the national retail sector R5 billion, 800 non-shopping centre stores were looted, 100 stores were burnt out, and 200 shopping centres were looted, and many destroyed. How can the country recover from such devastation - and when still enduring more than a year of lockdown and a pandemic? The answer must lie in economic and individual freedom.
Read our exclusive cover story titled BUILD BACK BETTER | NOW IS THE TIME FOR POSITIVE RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION! by Chris Hattingh, Deputy Director Free Market Foundation, Member of the advisory council Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity and Senior Fellow at African Liberty, as well a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the August/September 2021 edition of BusinessBrief.
Reports of alleged corruption plaguing the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), one of the vehicles being touted to administer the National Health Insurance (NHI) should not come as a surprise. We note with concern these reports, and stresses to both government and citizens the crucial lesson that must be learned from this scandal.
The recent press reports of the Venezuelan government relaxing its controls over the economy is heartening. This comes after the government of Zimbabwe also in recent years signalled its intention to open up for business and set right the disaster of Mugabe-era land grabs. South Africa would do well to take heed of this trend away from socialism toward freedom.
Government's first duty is to protect the rights of citizens. Instead, ours has prioritised yet another bailout of R10.5 billion for the failed South African Airways (SAA), with a further R6.5 billion in the pipeline. This while citizens die in hospitals lacking basic personal protective equipment, staff and oxygen supplies, and there remains no vaccine on the horizon.
South Africa’s flirtation with the idea that government should be allowed to expropriate private property without being legally required to compensate owners for it stands in stark contrast to the constitutional democracy we chose 26 years ago and is already doing great damage to the economy.
The negative effects of South Africa's hard lockdown continue to reverberate through the economy and broader society. The latest flashpoint has been in the taxi industry, specifically in Gauteng, where the South African National Taxi Council (SANTANCO) started the week of 29 June by indicating their taxis will operate at 100% capacity – in open defiance of lockdown regulations.