A Johannesburg businessman, trying to sue the Mozambique government for over $91 million (R1 billion), has taken the SA government to court after officials allegedly sided with the neighbouring country in the dispute.
The Protection of Investment Act affords foreign investors no protections beyond domestic law, and pointedly disavows investor-state international arbitration. The SADC Protocol was also amended by the SADC Summit of heads of state and government.
Cabinet’s endorsement of the draft International Arbitration Bill in April this year gave a welcome indication that South Africa would soon provide investors with one of the essential tools for operating in the modern global economy.
Legal practitioners have been saying for some time now that SA’s Protection of Investment Act is not in sync with the country’s commitments under the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Finance and Investment.
What are the next steps for investment protection in South Africa, as the country draws up new legislation governing foreign direct investment following the termination of a number of bilateral investment treaties?