SA is a federation, start treating it that way – says Free Market Foundation

FMF Press Release (Law Justice 2)

‘South Africa is not a unitary state: provincial and local governing authority is constitutionally entrenched, and not subject to central government discretion. This means SA is a federation.’ – Martin van Staden

11 April 2024

On Thursday, 11 April 2024, the Free Market Foundation (FMF) launched its Campaign for Home Rule at the Fire and Ice Hotel, in Cape Town. 

This follows the FMF’s Home Rule roadshow that started in Gqeberha and proceeded to Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hermanus, Paarl, before culminating in Cape Town.

During the roadshow, David Ansara, CEO of the FMF, and Martin van Staden, Head of Policy at the FMF, had meetings with municipal officials, organised business, and community associations with the aim of generating enthusiasm for local autonomy in South Africa.

‘Regardless of the outcome of the 29 May election, the trajectory of South Africa’s decay will continue, therefore necessitating significant political decentralisation,’ says Ansara. ‘Many pressing problems in South Africa could be solved unilaterally without waiting for permission from faraway politicians and bureaucrats in Pretoria.’

As part of the campaign, the FMF has published a paper, ‘Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission: Practical Steps Towards Home Rule in South Africa,’ setting out the legal allowance of a fully realised federal dispensation. 

According to the Constitution, South Africa is a federal state. This means that whenever a provision of the Constitution is interpreted or applied by municipal or provincial officials, it must be done in a way that respects its federal nature.

‘The luxury of risk aversion is one we cannot afford in South Africa’s current dire state. Things are falling apart at a rapid pace. Decentralisation of power is the only thing that will allow ordinary South Africans, and businesses to stop the decay and start building a strong and vibrant socio-economy,’ concludes Van Staden.

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