SA economic policy is openly anti-west now, American business people say

2015-09-15
Adv Anton Alberts

South Africa’s trade partners in America and Europe, for the first time today, forthrightly and undiplomatically informed the ANC government that investment confidence in the country is at its lowest ever and that the first incidence of expropriation would mean the end of investments in South Africa, and that it is already starting to happen…”.

Also that South Africa, despite huge investments in the country, is openly hostile to the west at the expense of its Brics partners.

These harsh words fell today during the public hearings of the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry about the Promotion and Protection of Investors Bill.

In the submissions the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa (EUCCISA) it is clearly stated that the great uncertainty surrounding South Africa’s economic policy is the main reason of distrust.

AmCham, had implicated the minister of trade and industry, Dr. Rob Davies, by name and said that despite Davies’ promises that foreign investments in South Africa would be protected, it appears as if the Bill has the opposite as objective.

AmCham says amongst others, that foreign investments are clearly not safe, that investors cannot expect reasonable compensation for their investments in the case of a dispute, that there is no sign of the international principle of equality and fairness and that there is no sign of the promotion and protection of investors, which ironically the Bill has been named..

According to AmCham, investors are ready to invest in the country to the amount of R1,35 trillion, but they are not prepared to do it for as long as there are any policy uncertainties.

EUCCISA said in its submission that apart from policy uncertainty, various other factors have already contributed to investors adjusting their investments, while others have adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.

“Others are looking at opportunities in neighbouring countries, or to withdraw their investments from Africa completely,” the report states.

Adv. Alberts says that South South Africa’s American and European trade partners loud and clearly informed the ANC today: Change your policy or we walk. Not only out of South Africa, but also out of Africa as a whole.

“It is clear that the Bill and policy are destroying investments and that the ANC is no longer trusted. America is also sounding a warning that South Africa cannot rely on investments from the East alone and that investors should be treated the same.

“The FF Plus will be meeting with stakeholders of the groups and will see to it that their needs are conveyed to the relevant portfolio committee to ensure that the bread will remain on South Africans’ tables and that the country’s economy is not destroyed completely,” Adv. Alberts says.

 

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