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The probability of a credit rating downgrade from Moody’s does not necessarily equal ‘good’ news for SA’s economic prospects. It is merely the calm before the storm. It would be good news if SA had embarked on one or two of the required reforms – however, this has yet to happen. This temporary reprieve from Moody’s gives SA time to implement some of the changes required to right a seriously listing ship.
Legislation which governs hate speech must be interpreted in line with the constitutional right to freedom of expression, and anyone who is accused, or who accuses others, of hate speech, must be treated equally without regard to their inborn characteristics.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s new economic strategy paper is a refreshing, much needed breath of fresh air for an economy struggling for oxygen. The paper is replete with common sense proposals all aimed at achieving the economic growth South Africa desperately needs. We have been stumbling along a low-growth path of high taxes, kilometres of red-tape, wealth redistribution, and anti-individualism for far too long. If Mboweni’s paper can be taken as a true step in a new direction, a direction of more individual freedom, South Africa will see green shoots of recovery almost immediately.
An essential component of the rule of law is the existence of impartial courts where disputes are resolved fairly without favouritism to one of the parties. This is important for the economic welfare of individuals in a country because no modern economy can survive without individual property rights or contracts.
Following the discussions about the NHI (National Health Insurance), I am struck by how little regard is given to self-ownership. To preclude the possibility of ownership by someone else, self-ownership is a necessity. Black Africans were enslaved in the Americas because their self-ownership was not recognised.
When seeking care from a hospital or doctor, patients will now be required to present their proof of registration with the National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund to access healthcare services. Registration can be refused. Never before have South Africans’ constitutional right to access to healthcare been so brazenly threatened by a power-hungry government. Civil society must resist the proposed NHI scheme with all its might.
The latest iteration of the NHI Bill has confirmed what South Africans have known for more than a decade: that taxes will need to rise to fund the government’s unworkable and unfeasible NHI scheme. During these dire economic times, the NHI tax will be the final nail in the coffin for cash-strapped consumers struggling to make ends meet.
Labour unions are undoubtedly the biggest obstacle to any positive reform, not because this particular group of individuals is somehow more evil than the rest of us. It is simply a rational response to the particular set of incentives that union bosses are faced with.
Access to more data is vital for economic growth and education. Young people spend more and more time on mobile devices - the fewer regulations and the more competition we have in SA, the more they will be enabled to access a whole universe of educational resources. The government can either aid in empower young people by letting go of control over data, or it can inhibit a real, transformative, empowering process by bumbling from spectrum allocation ‘deadline’ to ‘deadline.’ The choice, and unlimited potential, are clear: massive pressure must be put on government to get radio spectrum allocated.