On 6 September 2017 the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders submitted a request from Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on the compatibility of the Investment Court System (ICS) with the European Treaties. The Belgian government has made the request in recognition of the concerns raised by the regional assembly of Wallonia about the ICS when it was considering whether or not to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.
On 23 June 2013, South Africa served a notice of termination in respect of its BIT with Spain, thus ensuring that the investment treaty will terminate on 23 December 2013. Pursuant to Article XII of the BIT, the treaty entered into force for a period of 10 years from 23 December 1999, and thereafter for consecutive 2 year periods, unless terminated by 6 months’ notice before the date of expiry.
Investments made or acquired prior to 23 December 2013 will, however, continue to benefit from protection until 23 December 2023, by virtue of the survival clause in the BIT.
Those wishing to invest in South Africa should include contractual investment protection mechanisms, consider carefully how their investment is structured, and keep appraised of developments further to South Africa’s redistributive Black Economic Empowerment policy.