It should be good news that the leader of the ruling party's youth wing is calling for economic freedom. Julius Malema calls himself an economic freedom fighter. He says that after the fight for political freedom comes the struggle for economic freedom.
I agree, but the problem is that he has a totally cockeyed notion of this concept. Economic liberty is the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. It requires free markets protected by the rule of rule and entrenched property rights.
Various studies show that countries with higher economic freedom rank better on virtually every indicator of well-being. They have higher living standards, better health and less corruption.
Economics is known as the "dismal science" because its predictive power is usually low. But evidence for the uplifting effect of economic freedom is as solid as you can expect to get in the so-called social sciences.
Malema's version of economic freedom, however, requires expropriation and control. He advocates nationalization, which amounts to property theft. In March this year he said that the ANC Youth League wanted 60% of Anglo American Corporation. As for other white business, the league just wanted "its fair share". He declared: "Share that delicious piece of cake. Don't eat it all alone!"
Who will actually benefit if these businesses are "shared"? If the state takes over, then the usual cronies will get rich and the general population will suffer as the economy goes down the drain. Foreign investment will vanish, and a diminishing economic cake will be fought over. This is what happened in Zimbabwe, so it is no surprise that Malema admires Robert Mugabe.