This is the essay and motivation contributed by Garreth Bloor as his entry in the recent Freedomfest competition sponsored by Bob Glenister.
Freedom in South Africa: Jobs, not dependency
Entrepreneurship and small business development is not optional.
If entrepreneurship is to be successful it must exist within a legal and political framework that protects private property and guarantees equality under rule of law, while not suppressing the creative commercial spirit through unnecessary regulation and a burdensome tax regime. There are six urgent actions needed to ensure South Africa’s entrepreneurial potential is unleashed.
Tax is one of the greatest inhibitors of small business development. The high level of taxes, the enormous volume and complexity of the tax laws, and the administrative sophistication required to comply with these laws are daunting even for well-educated entrepreneurs. These laws must be simplified.
Simplifying Compliance. To date, it is impossible to determine how many potential entrepreneurs have been prevented from ever getting started because of onerous compliance requirements. Continuing compliance costs represent an additional financial burden to small businesses and are often a factor in business failures. The Small Business Project’s (SBP) Reducing the Cost of Doing Business in South Africa report found that it costs formal sector companies in South Africa R105,175 a year, on average, to comply with regulations.
Capital. The South African government owns much of the land that was forcefully taken by the apartheid state to serve their variant of white National Socialism as three time Nobel Prize nominee, Leon Louw, has constantly pointed out. As has been proposed by black consciousness contemporary, Temba Nolutshungu, this superfluous land should be transferred to South Africa’s poor under a system of property-titling and private ownership. Inheritance of apartheid government confiscations must be returned to the people through the privatization of failing state assets and the resources the state currently owns to entrepreneurs, accompanied by a structured transfer of proceeds to those directly exploited and robbed under the apartheid regime.
End Foreign Exchange Controls. In a global economy, where our success as a nation depends on full integration of our people and country into the mainstream of the world markets, it has to go.
The Right to Work: According to Richard Tren, labour laws are shutting the jobless out of work and causing unimaginable social and economic harm. We should heed the words of anti-apartheid activist and current Soweto community leader Winnie Serobe: “Surely the labour laws that were written with the interests of workers at heart were not intended to prevent the poor from getting jobs? But they do”
Avoid an amendment the Labour Relations Act, which would force employees to be employed permanently “unless the employer can establish a justification for employment on a fixed term”.
It is not money or a lack of capacity that keeps South Africa from achieving its potential. It is the will of national leaders that will determine if South Africa’s achieves the future it deserves.
Garreth Bloor serves on the board of the Income Generation Project (IGP), an initiative that provides microloans and training to entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha. Article is a preview of a paper for the Institute of Economic Affairs journal
Why I should attend FreedomFest
I’ve focused on a broad spectrum of social, economic and political activities, expressing and demonstrating the relevance of markets and institutions in a theoretical framework, accompanied by action that shows immediate tangible benefits of liberty and free enterprise.
E.g. UCT Liberty Forum, Students In Free Enterprise UCT founder (Vivian Atuk commends SIFE) and young professional groupings (addresses to groups like BMF, SRC forums, societies, schools etc).
Focus on the “new heroes”, job creators. Young entrepreneurs need to understand the foundations of a society that makes job creation, serving needs through the market. Job creation was focus of Wednesday maiden speech in city council, op-eds, point accepted by opponents.
Founding director, micro-loans program in Khayelitsha. Talks, screenings and conducted the mass distribution of Ideas for a Society CDs last year with IPN. Connected good intentions with sound economics to reach wide audiences: My papers in this regard accepted to academic conferences internationally, message has been concentrated locally.
Taken to mainstream news issues and presented a classical liberal analysis; e.g. the importance of private ownership for individuals desiring a better living environment, the centrality of free trade to African prosperity, how indices like the Index of Economic Freedom apply to investment – dozens of publications, hundreds of articles, dozens of pages of Google search results.
I’ve succeeded, I’ve failed, have always persisted. Began a youth web and mobi-site taking important texts/FMF work and spreading it to a mass audience by integrating it with current news. Received thousands of viewers and hundreds of positive comments; awards from SIFE SA, CT Press Club. Site currently in limbo due to funds. Am working on it.
Personally invested enormous amounts of time and personal resources into liberty, especially oversees. To this day I service 3 year debt from previous trip. Could not participate in FreedomFront last year, but observed with intern. To return as participant is to know exactly what to do, who to connect with, which groups to partner with – all to build a global network for SA.
Have stood up for what I believe at personal cost, killing Masters funding and the chance at an easier working life at university, based on principle.
Worked on market solution-driven projects through an umbrella structure, The Enterprise Forum, which I set up UCT (as a result I’ve been invited to conferences [SFL, FE, Mises] though have not been able to make it).
Proposed a talk at FreedomFest, emailed Mark Skousen. Have developed myself into national-level debater and diplomatic, persuasive speaker (not my words).
To date I have been MPS invitee x4, Atlas Experience x 2 (no money to attend), named Earhart Fellow and speaker recent APEE meeting. Doing a Masters at UCT looking at public choice and ANC-Chinese Communist Party relations. Honours dissertation received first class grade, espoused relevance of public choice in international relations.
I believe my tireless academic research, active think tank approach to spreading free, open and prosperous society ideals – and ability to build what I have from nothing – is proof I will use FreedomFest to the maximum benefit of SA, while demonstrating the country’s potential to those abroad.