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Manifesto

2014 Election Manifesto

for

The Libertarian Party of South Africa



This manifesto is a collection of the ideas of the members of The Libertarian Party of South Africa (LiPSA) on how to improve South Africa. It represents the opinions of ordinary South Africans who love the ideals of individual liberty and personal responsibility. We welcome additional proposals from all our members. To be included in this collection a proposal must be compatible with the principles of LiPSA, and must be reasonable and feasible.


The Libertarian Party is opposed to coercive taxation and seeks to move over time to a dramatically smaller state whose expenditure is funded by user fees and voluntary payments. We accept that current coercive practices will have to be tolerated for a limited period in order to avoid large scale disruption.



Free the Energy Industry


Motivation:
The state of South Africa’s energy supply is disgraceful. A free market alternative could do much better and as such, hundreds of free market alternatives would do even better.

Proposal:

Allow any private company to become an electricity or energy provider. Provide incentives to those who provide green energy. Allow these companies to sell electricity directly to the consumer or sell into the public grid. Allow consumers with generators to sell their electricity if they wish to.

Consequences:

Many private energy providers will be founded. This will inevitably lower the price of electricity and raise the overall quality of service.

Slogan:

Reliable energy!

Legalise Dagga

Motivation:

Like many western countries, South Africa has many laws in which the only victim is oneself or the state. For example, drug consumption, prostitution, suicide, sexual preference, use of safety belts, all of these laws have no external victim, and should be a matter of preference, not prosecution.

There is ample evidence to show that dagga is a useful medicinal drug, which is less harmful than alcohol consumption or tobacco smoking.
Proposal:

Legalise the consumption and sale of dagga in South Africa, as has been done recently in the American states of Washington and Colorado. 

Consequences:

Less law enforcement time and energy will be committed to prosecuting a victimless crime.
A lucrative new agricultural market will arise within South Africa.

Increased tourism, as has been seen in Washington and Colorado.

Reduced prison population.

Fewer lives destroyed by meaningless prosecutions for private acts.

Hemp fibre has many practical uses which are currently not exploited.

Slogan:

Legalise dagga now!

Introduce a voucher system for Education, Health and Welfare




Motivation:

The Libertarian Party is opposed to coercive taxation and seeks to move over time to a dramatically smaller state whose expenditure is funded by user fees and voluntary payments. We accept that current coercive practices will have to be tolerated for a limited period in order to avoid large scale disruption.

Large sections of the South African population are critically dependent on existing education, health and welfare facilities, despite all of these functions being in a state of near collapse. The best way to turn these failing departments around is to privatise them and let them compete for vouchers in a market economy.
Huge amounts of current government expenditure is frittered away on these departments under poor leadership and non-existent financial controls.

Voucher systems have been used successfully in many welfare scenarios in the United States and elsewhere.

Proposal:

Introduce a voucher system for education, health and welfare in South Africa.

All South African citizens (independent of age, race or gender) will be entitled to apply to receive a non-tranferable annual voucher for their education, health and welfare needs.

These vouchers may be redeemed at any hospital, school or welfare agency of their choice.

The value of each voucher will be the same for all applicants - the available budget of that state department divided by the number of applicants in the previous year. 

Consequences:

Individual citizens will be trusted to make their own choices regarding their needs.

Successful suppliers of education, health and welfare needs will be rewarded by popular choice, unsuccessful suppliers will be eliminated.

Opportunities for corruption will be reduced.

The poor will be respected, not abandoned.

Slogan:

Parents know best!


Sell SAA, so we can stop bailing them out


Motivation:

South African Airways (SAA) is a constant example of mismanagement, cronyism, and incompetence, and as a result, is in constant need of bailouts from the government. This money could have been better used to improve South Africa’s failing infrastructure, or provide tax rebates so that ordinary people have more capital to grow the economy.


Legally, SAA is supposed to act as though it is a commercial business, competing with other airlines fairly, and reducing waste wherever possible. In practice, however, SAA is bailed out at every opportunity, allowing it to bully other airlines that do not have government protection.

Proposal:

Sever all ties between the government and SAA. Make SAA an ordinary listed company on the JSE, with no government guarantee to pick up after its mistakes, and no bailouts to cover up their mismanagement. The government explicitly sells all of their shares in SAA. If SAA cannot survive, they can sell off some of their planes to better run airlines.

Explicitly guarantee that the government will not ever again bail out or guarantee the loans of SAA ever again, to reassure other airlines that operating in South Africa is a worthwhile investment.

Consequences:

The major benefit is that taxpayer funds will no longer go towards subsidising an inefficient and wasteful airline. That money can be used for many other projects, or can simply be refunded to South Africans in the form of lower taxes or tax rebates.

The government will also earn some money from the sale of SAA shares. This money can also be used to fund other existing projects, so that the burden on taxpayers is lower

SAA, or whichever of their competition buys them out, will be an efficient, well-managed airline.

The bullying behaviour which causes the bankruptcy of so many airlines in South Africa will be stopped, encouraging investment in the country.

Slogan:

Sell SAA so we can stop bailing them out

Lower taxes by reducing government waste


Motivation:

Whenever taxes increase, the government just increases the waste and corruption to use up the extra funds. Our economy cannot take the strain much longer. The trend must be reversed.

The Libertarian Party is opposed to coercive taxation and seeks to move over time to a dramatically smaller state whose expenditure is funded by user fees and voluntary payments. We accept that current coercive practices will have to be tolerated for a limited period in order to avoid large scale disruption.

Proposal:

At the next annual budget, every government department is given exactly one year to reduce their annual expenditure by at least 10% without impacting service delivery. They can do this by rooting out corruption, eliminating unproductive activities, firing incompetent employees, and outsourcing their operations to professionals. If a department fails to achieve this goal, the department is audited by an independent third party. If the independent third party finds that a 10% reduction could have been achieved, the minister loses their position, and the independent third party’s plan is carried out by the new minister.

This reduces the total spending on government waste, and so the tax burden on South Africa’s economy can be reduced in the following ways:
1 Raise the income tax threshold for individuals to R 350 000.
2 Abolish Capital Gains tax for Individuals.
3 Abolish taxation on saving for Individuals.

Consequences:

Setting a real, measurable target holds government departments accountable for the money they spend, in many cases for the first time.

Corruption, waste, and incompetence will be slowly reduced, rather than increasing.

Tax rates will go down, meaning more money is available in the hands of ordinary South Africans to create jobs and improve their lives.
Savings and investments are encouraged.

Slogan:

Lower taxes by reducing government waste.


Scrap E-Tolls, let SANRAL default on its bonds, don’t make South Africa pay for their mistake




Motivation:

SANRAL made a bet, and lost. The bet was that South Africans would simply do whatever they are told, no matter the cost to themselves and the economy. To make this bet, they sold bonds, and used the money to build gantries and an inefficient collection system, known as E-Tolls. They forgot that South Africans are already paying exorbitant taxes towards the roads network, through the fuel levy. 

Proposal:

Like any business which made a bad decision, it should be SANRAL and their management that should bear the costs of its mistake, and not the South African public. Scrap the failed E-Tolls project, and let SANRAL declare an inability to settle their bonds. Any bonds carrying a government guarantee must be assumed and assigned by Treasury as part of the general sovereign debt and the indebtedness of SANRAL to Treasury appropriately and if this debt is such that Treasury must liquidate SANRAL then SANRAL must be liquidated.

SANRAL is not the sole entity that builds and maintains roads and apart from tolling there are able business cases to operate road networks - including leasing ducts and advertising space - and a free market in roads is urgently required.

Consequences:

E-Tolls being scrapped would lift a huge burden off the economy, in terms of both costs and missed opportunities.

The South African public cannot be held ransom by the decisions of an unaccountable agency. If the Treasury is a surety on that debt then same must take action against the principal which is SANRAL. The bankruptcy of SANRAL will create a market for private investors to acquire road assets.

Slogan:

Scrap E-Tolls; SANRAL’s mistakes are SANRAL’s problem, not ours


Schools belong to the parents


Motivation:

Education spending is up, but education quality keeps falling steadily. No matter how it is measured, the quality of education pupils receive in government-controlled schools is far worse than in the private counterparts. Every day new low-cost private schools open up in direct competition with subsidised state-controlled schools - the reason these schools perform better is not more money (they have less money to work with without state subsidies), but rather the parental involvement in the schools. The low cost private schools take parent concerns seriously, because it’s the parents who have the final say on matters of their children's’ educations.

Proposal:

Starting with the worst performing schools, set up a company for each state-run school. For each child in the school, issue 100 shares to that child’s guardian. For children without an identifiable or competent guardian, the shares will be held in a trust, to be given to the child when they become 18. The company charter will explicitly make the education, safety and well-being of the pupils the top priorities. All schools assets, such as the school grounds, become the property of this company. The company shareholders decide the matters of school administration, such as setting school fees, and the hiring and firing of school staff. The shareholders determine whether the company should seek to make a profit, or should run as a non-profit organisation.

Consequences:

Parents will for the first time have a say in their child’s education.

Unfit teachers can be disciplined, or even fired, as necessary, without being able to hide behind red tape.

Parents are encouraged and enabled to care about their child’s future.

Each school can adapt to their local circumstances, rather than relying on a top-down approach.

Local citizens are empowered to make a positive change in their local communities.

Slogan:

Let the village educate the child.


Kill (the Business Licensing) Bill


Motivation:

The Business Licensing Bill provides dangerous and unnecessary powers to government agents to enter your home, and confiscate anything which may indicate you are running a business, unless you have first filled out unnecessary and onerous paperwork to prove that you have a licence to run a business. While the DTI promises that the police would only ever use these broad new powers to harass non-South African entrepreneurs and job creators, in reality it simply gives the police the perfect smokescreen to hide corruption.

Proposal:

LiPSA will oppose the Business Licensing Bill, and any other bill which undermines human rights in South Africa.

Consequences:

The consequences if the Bill is enacted will be an increasingly corrupt police force, and an end to entrepreneurship. Only the rich will be able to get all their paperwork in order correctly, and so this Bill effectively kills entrepreneurship in the poor. By preventing this Bill, we allow the poor to continue to try to improve their lives without corrupt police interference.

Slogan:

Kill the Business Licensing Bill, keep entrepreneurship alive in SA.

Cut Public Debt

Motivation:

South Africa’s gross public debt currently sits at close to 40% of GDP. Every year around $4 Billion (R40 Billion) of taxpayer money goes into paying off just the interest on this debt. A responsible government would not have let this grow so high, and urgent action is needed to reduce this figure.

Proposal:

Update the mandate of the Minister of Finance to state that Gross Public Debt must be reduced to less than 10% of South Africa’s GDP, and must be kept at this level at all times. If the minister is unable to find ways to reduce the expenses of government sufficiently, then the government must sell off its assets to the South African public in order to reduce the total debt.

Consequences:

South Africa’s economy will be more “shock resistant” to problems in the world economy.

Vast amounts of land and resources currently unproductively hoarded by state and municipal bureaucrats will be moved into the hands of the public, where they can be used to grow the economy.

Tax money currently being used to pay off the debt will instead be available to the real economy. Taxes can be reduced by up to US $4 billion per year (the interest on the debt), increasing economic growth and creating job opportunities.

Slogan:

Get us out of debt, now!


Sell State-owned enterprises

Motivation:

When the Mandela government took office in 1994 it inherited well over 300 state-owned enterprises. More than half of South African fixed capital assets were in state hands These enterprises were used to provide "white" employment and social benefits, generally at the expense of all other workers. These enterprises such as Eskom, Telkom and SAA were inefficient, loss-making and an ongoing drain on the economy.
Around the world it has been repeatedly shown that governments are extremely bad at running businesses.

Proposal:

Setup a public company. Register this company on the JSE and international stock exchanges. Appoint non-political directors with high visibility and credibility. Thuli Madonsela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are examples.

Transfer the assets of the current State-Owned-Enterprises to this company. In his well-researched paper entitled “Privatisation and Regulation in South Africa.An Evaluation”, Afeikhena Jerome of the National Institute for Economic Policy (NIEP) estimates that the asset value of state-owned enterprises in South Africa in 2004 comes to more than R312 billion rand. Due to inflation and acquisitions this figure has probably doubled in the succeeding 10 years.

Use the funds released to pay down the current government debt.

Consequences:

The government will be forced to focus on its real mission, defence, judiciary and policing.

There will be a huge boost to the South African economy as unproductive assets are capitalised and placed in the hands of consumers.

The cost of maintaining the current level of national debt will be reduced.

The critical country infrastructure will be much better managed by competing organisations.

Slogan:

Put government out of business!


One constitution, many systems


Motivation:

The winner-takes-all, one-size-fits-all approach of our current dispensation leads to ongoing anger, conflict and losses. South Africa already has at least 2 alternative systems of government within its borders, in Lesotho and Swaziland. Permitting many different systems of civil law would allow different jurisdictions to compete with each other for support, with the more successful systems attracting the most support. This would provide an ideal laboratory for testing the consequences of legislation before applying it more widely

Proposal:

The legislation to enable Special Economic Zones (SEZ) has already been tabled in parliament. We propose that this legislation be extended to allow an SEZ to define or amend the civil law under which it will be governed, with the intention of allowing different political and ideological systems to compete with each other in a controlled and sustainable environment.

Consequences:

Zones will be able to experiment with different laws without putting the entire country at risk.

Successful experiments will be emulated, unsuccessful experiments will be forgotten.

Zones will compete on the attractiveness of their legal regimes, as happens between states in the USA.

Citizens will have a choice to migrate to zones more compatible with their outlooks.

Slogan:

One constitution, many systems

.


Subject all laws to a Law Impact Assessment

regulatory impact.jpg

Motivation:

In the United Kingdom any new law is subject to review by an independent Law Impact Assessment panel before enactment. This is similar to an Environmental Impact Assessment, where an independent body does the necessary research to evaluate the impact of any new development. If a law cannot be shown to have a net benefit for the country, then it cannot be passed.

Proposal:

Setup an independent Law Impact Assessment Panel, external to parliament, with wide ranging authority and adequate budget.

Consequences:

Many laws which simply add administrative overheads for the benefit of government and to the detriment of the economy will be rejected.

Bad law prepared for political advantage will be subject to independent and non-political assessment.

Slogan:

Remove bad laws


.Title Deeds for All

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Motivation:

You are not free unless you own your property outright. If you can’t move to where employment can be found, because you can’t rent or sell your house, you’re condemned to unemployment. If you can’t put up your house as collateral, you’re condemned to never start your own business. If you can’t bet the farm you were given, because you don’t own it free and clear, you can’t get the loans you need to invest in capital equipment to make it productive.

Proposal:

Give all state-owned land to the people who live on it. Provide title deeds within one year to all recipients of state-owned land.

Consequences:

This will fulfil the promise of the Freedom Charter: to restore the country’s wealth to the people.

There will be a huge boost to the South African economy as unproductive assets are capitalised and placed in the hands of consumers.

Poverty and unemployment will be addressed immediately and fairly.

Many citizens will be introduced to the market economy. Levels of anger and violence should diminish as tangible benefits are received.

Slogan:

Title deeds for all


Punish corruption

corruption.gif

Motivation:

We support prosecution and harsh punishment for corruption and wasteful state expenditure. All should be equal under the law.

Proposal:

1. All oversight (watchdog ) bodies must report to committees chaired by an opposition party and the majority of members must be from opposition parties.

2. Make the same taxation laws that punish tax evaders applicable to people guilty of corruption and wasteful expenditure.

3. Officials suspected of corruption may be subjected to polygraph tests.

Consequences:

Political connections will not influence the outcome of corruption cases.

The probability of conviction will increase.

Truth, not expediency, will be the deciding factor

Slogan:

Politicians and public officials are not above the law !


Decentralisation of Economic Settlements

rural.jpg

Motivation:

Poorer South Africans are posed with a big problem in the form of over-urbanisation and a lack of opportunities in their local areas. The first is as a result of the second. Migrant labourers, looking for work, come to the cities and contribute to a huge disparity in the wealth of the country.

Due to politics, history and a number of other reasons, townships have been set up in illogical areas where the local population have little to no access to stable employment.

Opportunities need to be presented to the population so that these townships can develop into self-sustaining settlements rather than backwater sources of migrant labour.

Proposal:

1. Move many state-employment facilities to smaller towns outside of the city. For example: Prisons and public works programmes.

2. Incentivise private business to move or build new facilities in rural settlements. Incentives can be in the form of tax incentives or spontaneous market benefits as the result of a potential new market.

3. Offer low-income households the opportunity and aid to move to these new ‘Economic Settlements.

4. Ensure that every rural settlement possesses an ‘anchor’ industry which will provide employment, income and growth to the settlement.

Consequences:

With cities no longer being the prime locations of employment opportunities, the overpopulation of city centres will disperse. Rural residents will gain a place of employment nearby. Settlements will have a purpose for existing and grow as a result. Unemployment will lower as migrant labourers can gain permanent employment.

Slogan:

Let rural South Africa grow

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Redemption Prison System

prisoners working.jpg

Motivation:

South Africa is a country in crisis. Crime affects every single member of our society and our prison system has become an unsustainable extension of gang culture.

Victims of crime are not helped by the criminal merely being placed behind bars. They have lost loved ones, property and breadwinners. Prisoners, on the other hand, end up living off the state and taxpayers dime without adding anything to society. This needs to stop.

Proposal:

1) Prisons will convert into appropriate venues for the manufacturing or growing of products that will be sold to consumers or donated to charity.

2) Prisoners will be required to work in order to generate a certain amount of money per a day.

3) Part of the money will be used to pay for the production costs, another part will be used to maintain the prisoners needs and another will be sent to the victim(s) of their crime.

4) The work in prison will give prisoners practical skills for when they are released. From the money that they generate from working in the prison, a portion of it will be put aside so that they can have some starting money once released.

Consequences:

Victims will have a source of stable income from those who had hurt them while prisoners become productive members of society. Charities will benefit from donations while manufacturing of commercial products will lead to cheaper products that benefit consumers. Prisoners will also gain practical skills that when they are released, will lead to them becoming truly useful members of society.

Slogan:

Prisoners must earn redemption


Protect Worker Freedom

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Motivation:

South African workers are plagued by the fact that their large and often coercive union does not respect their personal views. If a worker is dissatisfied with their working conditions, their only choice is through government courts or collective bargaining.

As unions rely on collectivised opinion, this does not allow individuals to seek their own private bargaining and forces them to abide by Union decisions. Workers who do not agree with the union or want to seek private bargaining need to be protected.

Proposal:

1) Establish a set of standards that protects workers from forced labour union action. This pertains to:
· Enforcing the right to not join a union.
· Protecting the right to not participate in union action.
· Eliminating coercion involved in collective bargaining.
· Allowing individuals to privately deal with their employer and reach private agreements.

2) Reform the Labour Relations Act so that all wage disputes and related disagreements between employer and employee can be arbitrated by unions but is ultimately between the two main parties involved.

Consequences:

Coercion is the main factor in worker-related protest and protest violence. Individuals who do not wish to have anything to do with union decisions should not be forced to do so.

Slogan:

Stop unions from bullying workers

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