Volume: Volume 25 - 2021
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Clive Vinti
Section 5 of the International Trade Administration Act 71 of 2002 (ITAA) provides that the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition has the power to issue ‘Trade Policy Directives’ subject to the procedures and requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Constitution) and other laws. However, there is uncertainty as to how trade policy is formulated under section 5 of the ITAA and the rights of affected parties in this regard.
Thus, this article offers an exposition of the process of trade policy formulation under section 5 of the ITAA. To this end, it is my view that trade policy formulation under section 5 must be guided by section 195 of the Constitution, which requires that the public must be ‘encouraged’ to participate in policy formulation and that this must occur in a climate of openness, transparency and accountability.
In the narrower sense, it is also my view that interested parties must be given an opportunity to participate in trade policy formulation on the ground of procedural rationality and to avoid a charge of arbitrariness as twin components of the rule of law.
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