Feb 07, 2014
SA not opposed to BITs – DaviesBack
Africa|Flow|Africa|India|Japan|South Africa|United States|Flow|Service|Rob Davies
© Reuse this
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Davies did, however, say that should BITs be established in future, it would most likely be done within an alternative framework.
Cabinet, in 2010, decided to terminate all South Africa’s existing BITs. Following this decision the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill of 2013 was published for public comment on November 1 that year, aiming to “update and modernise” South Africa’s existing legal framework in respect of foreign and domestic investment.
Discussing this Bill, for which public comment closed at the end of last month, Davies emphasised that there was no agenda to expropriate any foreign investment in South Africa, adding that the process of reviewing BITs was not peculiar to South Africa, as many countries were conducting such reviews.
“We have gone through the debate of nationalisation in this country and it has been made clear that we do not have such a policy in South Africa. Even if someone wanted to nationalise, there is something called the property clause in our Constitution, according to which investments are protected. One is entitled to an equitable compensation if there is an expropriation. It is not something that can be easily changed. In fact, we have substantial and real protection for all investments, domestic as well as foreign in the country’s Constitution,” Davies explained.
He added that government had found that there was no correlation between the existence, or nonexistence, of BITs and the flow of foreign direct investment.
“There are countries with which we have bilateral treaties, but almost no investment. Conversely, there are countries we have no bilateral treaties with countries, such as Japan, the US and India, but we have a significant flow of investment from those countries. Our investment sources are diversified,” Davies explained.
He further pointed out that government had taken the route of a law of general application that would apply to all foreign investments.
“The law provides for protection against expropriation based on the Constitution. It guarantees national treatment and also provides a series of remedies, including a service for amicable solution, access to the court and the Arbitration Act,” Davies concluded.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Trade News
The Western Cape government, in partnership with the private sector, is considering proposals to increase the value of the province’s tourism sector by 65% to R28-billion. International and local experts discussed various proposals during a two-day design lab hosted...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...