WHO ARE WE?
Africa’s oldest and most influential independent economic policy institute.
Recently nominated as one of 75 leading think tanks in the world and rated 3rd in the list of top 25 think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme of the University of Pennsylvania out of a total of 6,800 think tanks worldwide.
Two-time winner of The Templeton Freedom Awa...rds for Promoting Liberty, the largest international awards programme for think tanks. 2009 winners were selected from more than 130 applications from 47 countries. The FMF won in the category Free Market Solutions to Poverty for its book Jobs for the Jobless by Eustace Davie, which proposes a workable solution to South Africa’s mass unemployment problem.
2010 winner of the Freda Utley Prize for Advancing Liberty, which rewards the efforts of think tanks that are most effective in disseminating the ideas of freedom.
Created in 1975 by pro-liberty, anti-apartheid businesses and civil society by diverse national bodies such as NAFCOC, ASSOCOM (now SACOB/BUSA), the Consumer Union and the Chamber of Mines.
Its aim is to persuade government to adopt proven pro-market policies that ensure sustainable prosperity for all.
NAFCOC’s former head, Dr Sam Motsuenyane, is now the FMF’s President.
OUR CORE PRINCIPLES
All people have a right to life and the right to conduct it as they see fit, provided they do not impinge upon the similar rights of others.
Amongst the most fundamental rights of all persons is the right to own and control property and the produce of their own efforts and to dispose of it as they see fit.
No person or group has the right to initiate violence or the threat of violence against any other person or group.
The only economic system consistent with the above fundamental rights is a market economy.
OUR MESSAGE TO GOVERNMENT
Maintain the rule of law and uphold the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Provide truly independent, efficient and just law courts with adequate infrastructure.
Combat crime and ensure sufficient and effective policing.
Adopt proven free market economic policies to ensure high economic growth.
Withdraw from the business of business and leave the production of goods and services to private enterprise.
Reduce regulations and taxes on business and consumers.
Reduce anti-employment rigidities and compliance costs in the labour market.
Abolish counter-productive exchange controls.
Discontinue existing price controls and do not introduce new ones (because they distort markets by causing needless shortages and surpluses).
Adopt personal and economic freedom as the fundamental basis for living and doing business in South Africa.
The FMF played a decisive role in
getting important provisions, such as the property rights clause, into the Constitution.
getting over 200 pro-business reforms implemented, for example, the deregulation of agriculture, transport (including the domestic airline industry), business licensing and housing, and the conversion to ownership of thousands of properties occupied by black South Africans.
getting the ANC initially to adopt pro-market business-friendly policies when it was expected to implement socialism, resulting in a more positive and profitable business climate with lower tax and inflation rates, higher growth and foreign investment, a more stable currency, and increased profits and share prices.
The FMF has also assisted numerous companies to oppose negative policies.
IS THERE MORE TO BE DONE?
Though much has been achieved, there remain daunting demands.
The country remains over-regulated and over-taxed compared to the world’s winning nations.
Privatisation has stalled.
Unemployment and crime remain too high.
Anti-business forces create a real danger of government rejecting hard-won free-market policies and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Superfluous government land hasn’t been redistributed and most apartheid land tenure hasn’t been upgraded to ownership.
More recently, the change in the leadership of the ruling party could see a major adverse shift in policy.
The FMF is uniquely positioned to respond positively and effectively to these challenges.
OUR CURRENT PRIORITIES
The Foundation will focus on the following key projects in 2011:
Economic policy | Land reform | Nationalisation | Health care | Labour | Taxation | Crime | Energy.
HOW DO WE CONVEY OUR MESSAGE?
We influence the climate of opinion by generating and disseminating quality intellectual ammunition through publications, conferences, submissions, presentations and the like, and carry out advocacy and activism through submissions on critical issues, interaction with key officials and politicians, presentations to parliamentary committees and government departments on issues such as labour, land, health, BEE and red tape.
HOW IS THE FMF FUNDED?
Companies and individuals make annual cash and kind contributions, and support ad hoc projects.
The Foundation is a section 18A Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), which means donations are tax-deductible for South African companies and individuals (up to 10% of taxable income).
Membership subscriptions are tax-deductible as an expense against taxable income.
We can arrange for tax-deductibility in the UK and 501(c)(3) deductibility in the USA.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE OR CSI?
The policy work of the FMF should be seen as a professional service to our members to promote a positive economic and business climate in which they can make higher profits, pay lower taxes and achieve faster growth. Support for our activities should therefore be categorised as business expenses and not as CSI.
However, on occasion some of our policy work might be consistent with company CSI activities.been remarkable.
The Free Market Foundation is proud of the important contribution it has made to the increased freedom we all enjoy today