‘Treaties can in­flu­ence ex­pro­pri­a­tion’

Pretoria News - - NEWS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA mayibongwe.maqhina@inl.co.za

SOUTH Africa has en­tered into 49 bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaties since 1994, but only 22 were rat­i­fied and tabled in Par­lia­ment.

This emerged yes­ter­day when South African Am­bas­sador to the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion Xavier Carim briefed the ad hoc com­mit­tee man­dated to con­sider the amend­ment of the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

Carim said the bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaties did not make spe­cific ref­er­ence to land, but they ex­tended pro­tec­tion to as­set-based in­vest­ments.

“Bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaties recog­nise the rights of host coun­tries to ex­pro­pri­ate for­eign prop­erty but that is sub­ject to re­quire­ments,” he said.

Thus, Carim said, law­ful ex­pro­pri­a­tion of for­eign in­vest­ment had to be taken on public pur­pose and on a non-dis­crim­i­na­tory ba­sis un­der due process of law and based on prompt and ad­e­quate com­pen­sa­tion.

Carim also said, ac­cord­ing to the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion Treaty, a gov­ern­ment could not in­voke its in­ter­nal laws, in­clud­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for not meet­ing the treaty’s obli­ga­tion.

“This is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for the com­mit­tee,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.