V. Southern Africa
1. Banking and Finance
Presidential Decree No. 28/11, of February 2, 2011, enacted the Regulations on Micro-Credit Companies, which sets forth, inter alia, the scope of the micro-credit activity, the responsibility for supervision of the activity, and penalties and fines.
The new legal framework of the Ministry of Petroleum was enacted by the President of the Angolan Republic by means of Presidential Decree No. 33/11, of February 14, 2011. Presidential Decree No. 48/11, of March 9, 2011, created the Petroleum Fund for the purpose of promoting investment in the development of local and international projects relating to the water and energy sectors, as well as other strategic sectors. In connection, Presidential Decree No. 58/11, of March 30, 2011, approved the Regulations on the Petroleum Information System, which set forth, inter alia, the deadlines for the submission of information concerning petroleum production.
Presidential Decree No. 194/11, of July 7, 2011, enacted the Environmental Damage Regulations, which are applicable to all sectors of activity and businesses, including the petroleum and mining industries. This new statute establishes the polluter pays principle and a strict liability regime for environmental damages and threats. Offenders of the Regulations face heavy penalties, including fines up to USD 100 million and cancellation of environmental licenses.
New Regulations on the Legal Regime on Foreigners have been enacted through Presidential Decree No. 108/11, of May 25, 2011, which regulates the Visa Law.
In January, the Angolan Law on Public-Private Partnerships was passed. It establishes general rules for the state's role in monitoring public-private partnerships and covers, inter alia, the definition of public partners, the identification of the contracts for implementation of public-private partnerships, and recourse to arbitration in the case of disputes arising in respect of such partnerships. The New Private Investment Law (NPIL) was also enacted by means of Law 20/11, of May 20, 2011. The NPIL repealed the former Private Investment Law (Law 11/03, of May 13, 2003), as well as the provisions of the Law on Tax and Customs Incentives for Private Investment (Law 17/03, of July 25, 2003), which contradicts the NPIL. Under the NPIL, investments below USD one million shall not enjoy the benefits and privileges set forth therein, such as the right to repatriate profits or dividends, and are not eligible for tax and customs incentives.
Law No. 23/11, of June 20, 2011, sets up a new general regime regulating telecommunications, electronic communications, e-Government, and the protection of privacy and personal data in the telecommunications sector. Breaches of the provisions of this law are punishable by fines.