Policies

Policies
 of the 
Libertarian Party of South Africa - LiPSA 

This document should be read in conjunction with the core principles of LiPSA, as described separately in our Principles document. Supporters of LiPSA are, by implication, supporters of those core principles, as well as the policy positions outlined in this document, which may be referred to as the Party Policy document. Although our medium to long term objective is the substitution of a non-tax system of governance, in the interim our policies, programmes, and political actions will be based on the positions outlined in this document.

Our manifesto (listed separately here) is subject to change through the discretion of the party exco and the influence of the party member body. Through collaboration, our policies will shape accordingly.

1. Basic principles

We, the members of the Libertarian Party of South Africa, challenge the principal of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that they have the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labour. Even within post-apartheid South Africa, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labour without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of individuals, which rights are:

  • the right to life and bodily integrity

  • the right to pursue personal growth and happiness and to the free use of one’s life-given attributes and faculties, and own resources, 

  • the right of individuals, or groups of them, to resist actions against them to which they do not consent

  • the right to acquire, own, and keep private property. 
Accordingly, we:
  • strive for an independent and accessible Judicial system that protects the aforementioned rights.

  • reject policies, laws, or actions that abridge the right to life and bodily integrity of individuals, and recognise their right, as individuals or groups, to oppose such policies, laws, or actions

  •  require that no action be taken against any law-abiding individual without his or her consent

  • support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against any law-abiding individual

  • oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form

  • oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain

  • oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals

  • acknowledge that with freedom comes commensurate responsibility and accountability.
Individuals should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free agents; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

1.1. Personal liberty 

Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.

No action may be taken against a law-abiding individual without his or her consent.

No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government, but may respond to force as appropriate.

Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

1.2. Expression and communication

We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation, or control of communications media and technology. We favour the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

1.3. Personal privacy

We support the rights recognised in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to be secure in our persons, homes, and property.

Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should also always extend to records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records.

Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favour the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as those regarding the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes.

1.4. Personal relationships

A person’s sexual orientation or preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on government's treatment of the person, nor should laws such as marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, and military service laws have any gender based bias.

Government does not have the authority to define, license, or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

1.5. Abortion

Recognising that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

1.6. Crime and Justice

Government exists to protect the rights of every individual, including the right to life, liberty, and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily consent to risk of harm to themselves.

We support restitution of the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. 

We oppose the reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. 

The rights to due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, may not be denied.

We assert the common-law right of courts to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

1.7. Self-defence

The only legitimate use of force is in defence of individual rights — the rights to life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right applies to the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group.

We affirm the individual’s natural right to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defence.

1.8. Economic liberty

We believe that all members of society should have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others in the free market.

The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

1.9. Property and contract

The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or, in any manner, enjoy their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others. We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever.

1.10. Environment

We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources.

Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioural changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realise that our planet's climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocacy and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behaviour.

1.11. Energy and resources

While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidising any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.

1.12. Government finance and spending

All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labour. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolition of all programs and services of government not required for the protection of the individual’s right to life, freedom of action and association, and private property.

We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We advocate the amendment of the South African Constitution to make the "Balanced Budget "mandatory for government, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.

1.13. Money and financial markets

We favour free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and legal tender laws.

1.14. Monopolies and corporations

We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives, and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labour, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.

1.15. Labour markets

We support the repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labour unions, and an employer should have the right to recognise or refuse to recognise a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

1.16. Education

Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency and providing a much greater diversity of choice. Schools should preferably be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognising that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education.

1.17. Health care

We favour restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance from anywhere in the world. We advocate the repeal of the National Health Insurance law.

1.18. Retirement and income security

Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored pension system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.


2. Securing liberty


The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government should be constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of consent and non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

2.1. National defence

We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the Republic of South Africa against aggression. The Republic of South Africa should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as the leader of Africa. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

2.2. Internal security and individual rights

The defence of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during times of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the
government has violated the law.

2.3. International affairs

South African foreign policy should seek a South Africa at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasise defence against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current South African government policy of sending our military abroad to keep peace, and we oppose the government’s policy of providing any form of foreign aid, including military and economic aid. We recognise the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.

2.4. Free trade and migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals should not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health, or property.

2.5. Rights and discrimination

We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should not deny or abridge any individual's rights based on sex, wealth, colour, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.

2.6. Representative government

We support electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the national, provincial, and local levels. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures and conventions. We call for an end to any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives.

2.7. Self-determination

Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty. We support the right of minorities to self-determination, which includes their right to administrative autonomy from the national or sub-national governments, even if they currently live under a democratic political system.

3. Omissions


Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.
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