We are guided by the following set of principles, which we believe are central to the task of building a better future for South Africa.
All citizens must be free to create the destiny they desire for themselves, their families and communities, free from unjustified State interference. People must be free to make choices, and enjoy the consequences of their choices, as long as their exercise of this freedom does not infringe the freedom of others. The State’s primary role is to protect the liberty of its individual citizens. The freedoms of expression, of association, and of religion, belief and opinion are of fundamental importance, and legally-protected property ownership is a fundamental human right that is intimately connected to human dignity.
In order to make effective use of liberty, individuals need to find themselves in an environment in which the exercise of freedom is possible. A citizen is not free to use her talents to become a doctor if she never received a basic education. Similarly, one is not free to choose to work hard to build a better life for his family if he cannot find work. While the primary role of the State is to protect liberty, the State also has a justifiable role in the creation and maintenance of an opportunity-rich society, and giving citizens the tools to exploit opportunities. In essence, no talented, hardworking person should be unable to succeed solely as a result of the circumstances into which he was born.
Non-racialism and non-sexism
Race is an arbitrary characteristic, which has no bearing on the quality of a given individual’s ability to contribute to society; racial discrimination is therefore irrational. To deny rights to a group of people based on an irrational distinguishing feature is a moral wrong. The primary moral failure of the apartheid regime was that it arbitrarily and irrationally denied non-whites rights and opportunities. Any attempt to address the apartheid State’s moral crimes by means of further racially-determined rights and opportunities is to be rejected. Similarly, no person should have their rights and opportunities determined on grounds of their gender.
The best way to alleviate the burden of poverty and historical economic injustice is through growing the economy, creating jobs, and facilitating inclusive economic participation. A rigorous commitment to market deregulation encourages enterprise, lowers the price of goods, promotes innovation, and creates employment opportunities. Having witnessed how market liberalisation has brought rapid increases in wealth and living standards across the world, we believe that free-market economic reforms are the only viable strategy for economic growth and the alleviation of poverty in South Africa. State-owned enterprises are unavoidably corrupt and inefficient, and should be privatised wherever practically possible. The State does, however, have a role to play in protecting competition between firms so as to prevent the monopolisation of private economic power.
The rule of law
Any exercise of power, State or private, must be reliably and predictably restrained by the authority of law. No one should be immune from prosecution by virtue of their political or economic influence. To this end, the judiciary’s independence must be fiercely guarded, and judges must apply the law impartially, free from political or ideological bias. The role of all citizens, especially members of the executive and legislature, is to respect and promote the Constitution, and encourage the creation of a national culture of lawfulness. While this does not preclude criticism of the law and calls for its reform, such criticism should be principled, and not informed by a desire for power or wealth.