In early 2018, the South African government began to pursue a constitutional change that would enable a serious violation of citizens’ property rights. The proposed amendment would allow expropriation without compensation—the taking of a person’s lawful property without proper payment. Atlas Network partner Free Market Foundation (FMF) worked to protect South Africans’ property rights by educating both policymakers and the public on the harmful impacts this amendment would have.
The proposed expropriation without compensation (EWC) amendment would constitute a serious reversal of established rights. Not only would such a policy create uncertainty for private individuals and businesses alike, it would also strip away the advances in property rights protections made since the end of Apartheid. Any and all property would be subject to this policy of expropriation without compensation, discouraging investment and entrepreneurship and throwing up roadblocks in the path to prosperity for South Africans.
Thankfully, the team at FMF successfully pushed back against this policy proposal, creating awareness in the media and educating the public on the proper role of government. Their most influential educational event was a conference on EWC that provided alternatives to this new policy. FMF hosted virtual interviews and brought in 10 speakers from classical liberal think tanks whose experience and research provided invaluable insight. They provided lectures and interviews from over 50 leaders and talk show hosts, reaching 20,732 people on Facebook during the week of the conference alone. They have championed a highly impactful media and public relations campaign through television, social media, and print media. Free Market Foundation also actively engaged policymakers with their educational materials, creating buy-in for the protection of essential property rights.
Free Market Foundation continues to advocate for the legal protection of private property rights through the powerful influence of social media and word of mouth. Their tireless efforts towards educating the community on their constitutional rights made a difference, and the team looks forward to a more dependable future for property owners to come.