A Critical Analysis of the Protection of Investment Act 22 Of 2015

Keywords: foreign direct investment, Investment Act, bilateral investment treaty, economic development, foreign investor


In 2010, South Africa reviewed its foreign investment legal framework and during this process, it terminated most of its bilateral investment treaties. For a period, there was no piece of legislation that dealt with the regulation of investment in South Africa and investors had to comply with commercial laws. To solve this problem, South Africa introduced the Investment Act in 2015 aimed at regulating both domestic and foreign investment within its territory. In light of the above, the questions central to the article are whether the Investment Act in its current form balances the rights and obligations of foreign investors and that of host states. If not, what can be added or deleted from the Investment Act in order to balance these two competing rights? The article first looks at why South Africa terminated the bilateral investment treaties. It then compares the Investment Act with the SADC FIP to ascertain if the Investment Act is aligned with the sub-regional standard of foreign investment protection. Finally, recommendations are made which include suggested amendments to improve the Investment Act.

Author Biography

Lindelwa Beaulender Mhlongo, University of South Africa
Lecturer, College of Law, Department of Public, Constitutional and International Law.