The Department of Trade and Industry has just published the latest version of the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill. The Bill has its origins in the government’s wish to reassure foreign investors who were alarmed by South Africa’s decision three years ago to terminate its Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with a number of European countries. Its purpose is supposedly to provide for “the legislative protection of investors” and the “promotion of investment”.
It is unlikely to achieve either of these purposes.
Its main reassurance to foreign investors is the undertaking that “subject to national legislation, foreign investors and their investments must not be treated less favourably than South African investors in like circumstances.”