BNC#6: Ansara Q&A – Property rights, corporatism critiques, Argentina’s Milei experiment and more

In a Q&A session at BNC#6 in Hermanus, Free Market Foundation CEO David Ansara discussed the intricacies of South Africa’s institutional landscape and the challenges of deployment within the government. He emphasised the need for a sensible approach, particularly in light of political interference in economic affairs. Ansara highlighted the importance of private property rights, citing the Free Market Foundation’s efforts to distribute title deeds. He warned against corporatism and advocated for a more fragmented approach to governance, drawing lessons from Argentina’s experience with statism. Despite complexities, he urges proactive measures to avoid economic turmoil.

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Summary of the Q&A session with Free Market Foundation CEO David Ansara at BNC#6 in Hermanus

Free Market Foundation CEO David Ansara delves into the intricacies of South Africa’s governance challenges, particularly focusing on the deployment of personnel within the government. He highlights the need for a sensible approach in navigating these issues, acknowledging the complexities of South Africa’s institutional landscape. Ansara emphasises the importance of understanding deployment within the context of South Africa’s unique terms and pronunciations, suggesting that a deeper exploration of deployment processes is necessary for those unfamiliar with the country’s political dynamics.

Furthermore, Ansara discusses the prevalence of state-owned enterprises in South Africa, noting that their existence provides numerous opportunities for capture and political interference. He underscores the politicisation of bodies like the Judicial Services Commission, which should ideally function as constitutional safeguards but often fall victim to political agendas.

Ansara also touches upon the relationship between government and business, cautioning against corporatism and the undue influence of established businesses on regulatory processes. He advocates for a more decentralised approach, urging businesses to guard their independence and resist political pressures.

Additionally, Ansara draws parallels with Argentina’s experience with statism, warning against the pitfalls of collectivism and the erosion of individual liberties. He suggests that South Africa should learn from Argentina’s mistakes and pursue policies that prioritize economic freedom and private property rights.

In conclusion, Ansara’s insights underscore the need for proactive measures to address governance challenges in South Africa. He calls for a balanced approach that prioritises economic freedom, individual liberties, and sensible policymaking to navigate the complexities of the country’s political and economic landscape.

Edited transcript of the Q&A session with David Ansara at BNC#6 in Hermanus ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Alec Hogg [00:00:07]:

You’re like a diplomatic Herzog, saying things similarly but differently. Can you explain more about deployment, considering South Africa’s unique situation?

David Ansara [00:00:57]:

The landscape in South Africa fosters capture due to numerous state-owned enterprises. Even bodies like the Judicial Services Commission are politicised. Parties prefer their people for key positions.

Alec Hogg [00:02:37]:

The Da’s papers show a small group decides on major appointments, including a third of the economy. How does this extend to business boardrooms?

David Ansara [00:03:37]:

Big players like Cyril Ramaphosa use corporate ties to gain power, blurring lines between business and politics.

Alec Hogg [00:05:08]:

Is this a Trojan horse in business, normalising political agendas like transformation?

David Ansara [00:06:20]:

Yes, inviting political figures into boards normalises certain ideas.

Alec Hogg [00:07:52]:

Are wealthy backers regretting their support for Cyril, given his policies?

David Ansara [00:09:26]:

Some backers may be realizing their support’s limits. They should back civil society over ANC reform.

Alec Hogg [00:11:15]:

Should big business adopt a “don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness” approach?

David Ansara [00:11:40]:

No, challenge government legitimacy to weaken its power.

Alec Hogg [00:13:48]:

If advising Jordan Hillis, what doors should he kick down?

David Ansara [00:14:26]:

Transport and crime should be priorities, focusing on filling gaps left by the state.

Alec Hogg [00:16:07]:

How can the DA become more assertive in governance?

David Ansara [00:16:39]:

Embrace bottom-up federalism to acquire more powers effectively.

Alec Hogg [00:18:17]:

Given the likelihood of socialist victory, what’s the strategy for the opposition?

David Ansara [00:18:58]:

The current trajectory is unsustainable, demanding bold action to preserve order and mitigate failures.

Alec Hogg [00:19:38]:

State your case. Let’s open the floor.

BizNews Community Member [00:19:51]:

I’m trying to understand the Free Market Foundation’s shift. They’ve done great work with title deeds for disadvantaged people. Has their focus changed?

David Ansara [00:20:36]:

No, it’s the same. The title deed project began in 2010, providing ownership rights to black South Africans in council properties. We’ve transferred 12,000 deeds, a proud achievement showcasing the importance of property rights for all.

Alec Hogg [00:22:46]:

How many deeds have you handed over?

David Ansara [00:22:58]:

Over 12,000.

BizNews Community Member [00:23:00]:

What’s your view on intentional communities like Kings Heights or Omnia?

David Ansara [00:23:34]:

Voluntary communities are key. Pooling resources allows for scalable solutions, vital for addressing issues like water shortages.

Alec Hogg [00:25:17]:

Entrepreneurs creating their own ventures away from government control?

David Ansara [00:25:24]:

Yes, but collaboration is crucial. Market-based economics benefit both parties, fostering innovation and prosperity.

BizNews Community Member [00:28:19]:

How much international support do we have against Hamas?

David Ansara [00:28:44]: \ANC’s backing of Hamas stems from ideological ties. There’s a global shift in power dynamics, reflecting broader ideological changes.

BizNews Community Member [00:30:27]:

What’s your take on government-business cooperation?

David Ansara [00:31:01]:

It’s leaning towards corporatism, a coalition between big business, labor, and government. We need more free enterprise, not regulatory protectionism.

Alec Hogg [00:33:41]:

Are we heading towards fascism?

David Ansara [00:33:41]:

More like corporatism. We need to reduce state expenditure and embrace free-market principles to unlock opportunities.

Alec Hogg [00:38:53]:

How close are we to Argentina’s situation?

David Ansara [00:38:53]:

It’s hard to compare, but our institutions are at risk of capture. We must resist the temptation of printing money and prioritize fiscal responsibility.

Alec Hogg [00:40:22]:

Thank you, David Ansara.

David Ansara [00:40:22]:

Thank you very much.

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