Draft regulations under the Protection of Investment Act that govern the way disputes between investors and the government will be mediated are defective as they will deprive foreign investors of the right to seek mediation, since the government will have the right to veto any such referral. This is the view of Herbert Smith Freehills co-chair and partner Peter Leon in a comment on the regulations published in the government gazette for public comment by the end of February. Mediation can be sought only for disputes related to an action taken by the government that affects the investment of the foreign investor and is regarded as a breach of the protection provided for in the act. Mediation was one of the hot topics of debate when the controversial act was deliberated in Parliament in 2016. The act came in the wake of the termination of SA’s bilateral investment treaties and established a uniform regime for foreign investment in the country. It also eliminated the system of binding ...

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