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CGF Articles & Editorials

PROTECTION OF INVESTMENT: HOW SAFE ARE SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘INVESTMENTS’? (2016-07-18)

Article by Terrance M. Booysen and reviewed by Ian Jacobsberg (Partner: Hogan Lovells)

At the time when South Africa re-entered the global economic arena in 1994 -- amongst a number of critical tasks set by the late President Nelson Mandela -- the newly elected democratic government realised the importance of establishing Bilateral Investment Treaties (‘BITs’) with foreign countries.  These BITs were established in order to inter alia; boost the then ailing economy through international trade, as well as to attract their much needed foreign investment to South Africa. 

Following South Africa’s return to the global economy, the country concluded approximately forty-nine (49) BITs with countries across the globe; some which were fully operational and others with countries such as Canada, Israel, Ghana, Tanzania and Turkey which were signed but were not in force.  However, over the last few months, South Africa has cancelled numerous BITs with countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and even the United Kingdom.

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