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The promotion and protection of foreign investment in South Africa : a critical review of promotion and protection of Investment Bill 2013

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dc.contributor.advisor Sibanda, O. S.
dc.contributor.author Ngwenya, Mtandazo
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-20T09:22:44Z
dc.date.available 2016-06-20T09:22:44Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.date.submitted 2016/06/20
dc.identifier.citation Ngwenya, Mtandazo (2015) The promotion and protection of foreign investment in South Africa : a critical review of promotion and protection of Investment Bill 2013, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/20667> en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/20667
dc.description.abstract At the dawn of democratic rule in the period 1994–1998, South Africa concluded 15 bilateral investment treaties (BITs), mostly with European nations. Some of these treaties were concluded before the Constitution of 1996. The country has since concluded a total of 47 BITs, with the majority not in effect as they were not ratified per the required constitutional processes. The policy decision to enter into BITs was taken by the African National Congress (ANC) government, led by the late former state president Nelson Mandela. The BITs were seen as an important guarantee to attract foreign investment into the country. The aim was to provide added assurance that foreign investments were safe in a democratic South Africa after many years of international isolation and sanctions. The conventional wisdom at the time was that BITs would increase foreign investor appetite to invest and the country would experience rising levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result. This would facilitate economic growth and the transition of the country into the global economy. South Africa concluded BITs with seven of the top ten investor countries. In October 2013 the South African government cancelled a number of BITs with these European countries invested in South Africa. These countries – namely Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands – complained of lack of consultation by the South Africans. On 1 November 2013 the Minister of Trade and Industry published, in Government Gazette No 36995, the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill (PPIB or Investments Bill) as the proposed primary legislative instrument for the protection of foreign investments. This created much uncertainty among many European nations as well as in the United States of America (US), who were concerned about the motivation for cancelling bilateral treaties in favour of domestic legislation. BITs had been a part of the policy instruments regulating foreign investments in the country for over 20 years. Globally these treaties have been used to regulate foreign investments in a number of areas, and to provide protection to investments such as full protection and security, guaranteed pre-establishment rights, ease of repatriation of funds, most-favoured nation, fair and equitable treatment, national treatment and efficient dispute settlement mechanisms, among other provisions. In most cases international arbitration via the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and other international arbitral mediums has been a standard provision in the treaties. This has allowed foreign investors to bypass host countries’ legal systems. The latter is believed to be a significant inducement for foreign investors, guaranteeing that should a dispute arise, or if an expropriation occurs, the investor could institute an international arbitral process against the host government. International arbitration is preferred by foreign investors for the reason that, in some cases, domestic courts may lack independence from the state, and may make partial rulings that do not protect investors. Furthermore, international arbitration processes are more efficient and produce rulings faster than domestic courts, which are usually burdened with bureaucratic procedures and limited resources. In cases where delay exacerbates injury, prompt resolution of disputes is preferable. This study evaluates the Investments Bill and the rationale applied by the government of South Africa to cancel BITs with major trade and investment partners in favour of this legislation. The thesis focuses on the Investments Bill, in light of the objective provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its enactment to law. The Investments Bill is subjected to a constitutional analysis to determine its compliance therewith. Comparisons are also made between the Investments Bill provisions and the prevailing international law principles on foreign investments. The Investments Bill is then critically evaluated against emerging trends on FDI regulation on the African continent to determine its congruence or lack thereof with best practice recommendations at regional economic community (REC) and African Union (AU) level. The thesis concludes with a set of policy recommendations to the DTI on how to improve South African policies related to the regulation of foreign investments taking into account the national imperative as well as Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other broader African continental objectives of harmonisation of FDI regulation, including the Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) implementation. The timing of this thesis is significant for South Africa. It adds to various deliberations that are taking place as the Investments Bill is set to makes its way through the legislative approval processes in 2015. The Bill has been met with opposition from some segments of society. Others have expressed support – including several state departments, the ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other political formations. The summary of findings contained in the thesis will be presented to the DTI to influence policy directions of the state in terms of foreign investment regulations. Should the Bill be enacted, the Minister of Trade and Industry is required to promulgate the dispute resolution mechanism that will govern investment disputes. The findings of this study will be important to the determination of how such dispute resolution mechanisms may function. Furthermore, in 2010 Cabinet instructed the DTI to develop a model new-generation BIT Template to be utilised by South Africa, should a compelling reason arise to enter into bilateral agreements. The research results will assist policy-makers to develop policies that are consistent with and align with the overarching Africa strategy that has been heavily promoted by South Africa. The country faces a number of challenges, particularly those related to low economic growth, high levels of poverty, unemployment and record levels of inequality. The gap between the rich and poor, in terms of the Gini coefficient, was 0,67 based on the World Bank Development Research Group Report of 2010. It is reported as one of the highest in the world and is believed to have worsened since the dawn of democracy. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xxv, 276 pages) : color illustrations en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Bilateral investment treaty en
dc.subject Foreign investment en
dc.subject Multilateral investment en
dc.subject Free trade area en
dc.subject Expropriation en
dc.subject Dispute resolution en
dc.subject National Development Plan en
dc.subject Constitutional Court en
dc.subject SADC Tribunal en
dc.subject Economic growth en
dc.subject World Trade Organization en
dc.subject WTO Dispute Settlement Body en
dc.subject Customary international law en
dc.subject BIT
dc.subject OAU
dc.subject NDP
dc.subject.ddc 346.92068
dc.subject.lcsh Investment, Foreign -- Law and legislation -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Investment, Foreign (International law) en
dc.subject.lcsh Dispute resolution (Law) en
dc.subject.lcsh International commercial arbitration en
dc.subject.lcsh Commercial treaties en
dc.title The promotion and protection of foreign investment in South Africa : a critical review of promotion and protection of Investment Bill 2013 en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Public, Constitutional and International Law en
dc.description.degree LL. D. (Public, Constitutional and International Law)


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  • Unisa ETD [8835]
    Electronic versions of theses and dissertations submitted to Unisa since 2003

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