On the eve of July’s Brics summit, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel introduced the Competition Amendment Bill. The envisaged changes in the Competition Act come after the ANC took a decision at its conference in December to amend competition policy to accommodate more radical economic transformation. While the minister seeks to further improve the public interest proviso within the policy, the envisaged changes include introducing a national security clause. If these changes are effected, SA will for the first time introduce investment screening based on national security. Normally, this clause would have been located within the Protection of Investment Act. It is important to point out from the onset that national security screening of investments is international practice, and this has increased over the years as countries started receiving more investment from China. What is usually at issue is the application of a national security review on incoming foreign direct in...

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