Expropriation of foreign-owned land without compensation may be illegal

Department of trade & industry officials have warned against expropriating land owned by foreign nationals, saying  it contravenes existing bilateral investment treaties.

Doing so could also result in SA being denied access to key markets such as the US.

The country has 22 such bilateral agreements, but the cabinet decided in 2010 to terminate the arrangements following concerns that the treaties were unbalanced in favour of the  investors.