Trevor Watkins 1/6/2023
If, in a fit of fabulous philanthropy, Elon Musk decided to donate 10% of a billion dollars ($100 million, about R2 billion, or .0005 of his net wealth) to the best proposal on how to address the current South African catastrophe, what would you suggest? Here is my proposal.
Avoiding catastrophe in Southern Africa - a proposal to the Musk Foundation
South Africa is in bad shape. The problems are mostly political. Bad ideologies leading to bad strategies which result in widespread corruption and failure. Apartheid socialism in the past, Marxist socialism in the present.
South Africa does not lack resources. It does not lack competent people (world class banks, mines, farms, insurance companies, manufacturing industries). It has a history of innovation (world’s deepest mines, first heart transplant, Kreepy Krauly).
Why should deeply disillusioned South Africans trust any proposals for a new structure?
South Africans of all persuasions are reasonably proud of and united around our existing constitution, despite its flaws. It is subscribed to by all registered political parties. It does not inspire partisan animosities. By undertaking to enforce the provisions of the existing constitution you can avoid endless debate over technicalities.
Like most Western countries, the South African state takes responsibility for almost every aspect of the life of its citizens and residents, limited only by the terms of a constitution little understood and rarely observed. Most citizens cannot imagine an alternative to an all powerful state controlling the levers of power. We have sacrificed our freedom to the illusory safety and security we believe only the state can provide. The only question is which gang gets to run the state, and even that is only decided every 5 years. I call this the bigger gang theory of governance.
But there is an alternative which has operated for centuries. Insurance can provide most of the safety and security services which the state ineffectually offers, at much less cost and with far greater efficiency.
The time for playing by the rules of a corrupt system with a corrupt referee are over.
I propose the concept of Freedom Insurance.
To provide a superior structure for the provision of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights (BOR) of the South African constitution, in the interests of all South Africans.
Countries and societies do fail with awful consequences.
The government/state model has failed and should be bypassed.
You can’t please everyone. You can’t save everyone. You must be willing to pay your way.
There is no free lunch.
Many powerful people may be deeply annoyed by these proposals.
Competence and competition are critical to our survival.
Bold Action is necessary, words are no longer enough.
South Africa is a country deeply divided by race, income, ideology, expectations. However, the constitution is one of the few unifying forces, admired and respected by the vast majority.
The existing government has close to unfettered power over all organs of state. Any alternative approaches will not be well-received.
Political solutions by opposition parties have failed for 30 years, and show no prospect of success in the short term.
The country is on the brink of becoming a failed state with policing, judiciary, infrastructure, education, and health services all near collapse.
Any proposed solution must be
Exclude the many failed state agencies, parastatals, quasi government organisations, captured agencies.
Free market based.
Not just another overseas investment plan.
Not just another aid program or charity.
Use the Musk Foundation funds to establish and capitalise a new insurance company (provisionally known as Freedom Insurance (FI)) which will underwrite and guarantee specific sections of the bill of rights in the South African constitution.
Like any insurance company Freedom Insurance will sell policies to individuals and groups.These policies will cover losses arising from adverse events or violations of the bill of rights - life, property, bodily integrity, captivity, subject to specific conditions.
Freedom Insurance will
Pay compensation to injured parties.
Attempt to recover costs from violators.
Undertake legal action against violators.
Attempt to mitigate the incidence of violations.
Maintain a tribunal to judge violations by members and others, and to assess warrants of search or seizure.
Will operate in conjunction with private security agencies, legal agencies and arbitration agencies.
Target audience and conditions
Freedom insurance will be available to all residents of South Africa.
Freedom insurance will not be free.
There will be a range of products designed to service a range of markets.
In all cases the actions undertaken by Freedom Insurance will be subject to the terms of the client’s policy and their payment status.
The Bill of rights
Freedom Insurance will underwrite the following sections of the BOR.
1. Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
Given the parlous state of the police services and judiciary, this provision is often breached. Most South Africans now resign themselves to
receiving minimal assistance from the police in the event of a crime,
a botched investigation and
no successful prosecution.
Freedom Insurance will compensate clients for their losses, investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of the crime, take restitution from the perpetrators, and ultimately turn them over to the state for prosecution with a detailed affidavit.
3. The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
Freedom Insurance will undertake legal action against the specific state agency for correction and reversal of the effects of any unwarranted discrimination. Freedom Insurance will pay compensation to the client for any losses suffered due to this discrimination.
Everyone has the right to life.
In the event of a client’s death, Freedom Insurance will pay out the agreed death benefits. If the death was due to the state or other malicious actors, Freedom Insurance will investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of the crime, take restitution from the perpetrators, and ultimately turn them over to the state with a detailed affidavit.
12. Freedom and security of the person
1. Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right
a. not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause;
b. not to be detained without trial;
c. to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources;
d. not to be tortured in any way; and
e. not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
Freedom Insurance will investigate the circumstances of your abduction or captivity. If it is due to state action, a legal challenge will be undertaken. If it is due to malicious actors, Freedom Insurance will investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of the crime, take restitution from the perpetrators, and ultimately turn them over to the state with a detailed affidavit.
2. Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right
a. to make decisions concerning reproduction;
b. to security in and control over their body; and
c. not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.
Freedom Insurance would be very active in protecting individuals against vaccine mandates and similar, by bringing legal proceedings against the implementing bodies. Freedom Insurance would also cover the costs of harms arising from forced medication, and will investigate and apprehend the perpetrators, take restitution from the perpetrators, and ultimately turn them over to the state with a detailed affidavit.
Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have
a. their person or home searched;
b. their property searched;
c. their possessions seized; or
d. the privacy of their communications infringed.
Freedom Insurance would be active in protecting individuals against breaches of their privacy, by bringing legal proceedings against the implementing bodies. Freedom Insurance would also cover the costs of harms arising from such breaches.
21. Freedom of movement and residence
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.
2. Everyone has the right to leave the Republic.
3. Every citizen has the right to enter, to remain in and to reside anywhere in the Republic.
4. Every citizen has the right to a passport.
Freedom Insurance would be active in protecting an individual’s freedom of movement, by bringing legal proceedings against the implementing bodies. Freedom Insurance would also cover the costs of harms arising from such breaches.
All members will pay a standard R100 setup fee to cover registration, app setup, billing setup, ongoing communications.
Establish a trust to administer the donated funds. Board Members must be strictly non-political. Suggestions: Elon Musk, Wendy Appelbaum, Rob Herzov, Johann Rupert, Patrice Motsepe, Magda Wierczyka.
Setup a new insurance company, called Freedom Insurance.
Establish an executive structure. Suggestions: Nick Hudson(Panda), Wayne Duvenhage (Outa), Thuli Madonsela, Paul o’Sullivan.
Recruit partners - security agencies, arbitration agencies, banks, legal firms.
This article suggests a way to address the current South African crisis. This is achievable and sustainable given sufficient funds and intention. It is an economic solution, not a political one. It leverages widespread popular support for the constitution and provides real world benefits to most South African residents. It is not a revolutionary proposal but falls completely within the ambit of the existing Bill of Rights.
Individually, South Africans are at the mercy of the gangs; political, criminal and economic. Freedom Insurance can provide a unifying structure, a rallying point, for powerful but legal resistance to the depredations of the state.
This proposal would do what the politicians have failed to do.
Author: Trevor Watkins is the founder of the Individualist Movement, the author of two books, and a contributing author for the Free Market Foundation. He publishes on a blog at libertarian.org.za. The views expressed in the article are the author’s and not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.