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.
Colombia’s decision to ban mining activities in the Páramos, a range of environmentally sensitive wetlands that provide approximately 70% of the country’s water supply, has so far led to three treaty-based arbitration cases.
Investors holding billions of dollars in defaulted Venezuelan bonds have formed at least one bondholder committee, which could signal an eventual legal dispute similar to the dispute with Argentina after it defaulted on its sovereign debt in early 2002.