Feb 07, 2014
SA not opposed to BITs – DaviesBack
Africa|Flow|India|Africa|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)
Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme. LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – which disbursed a record R13-billion during 2015, from R12.7-billion in the prior year – remained optimistic that it could ramp-up loan disbursements to R25-billion a year by 2018 as it sought to give greater emphasis...