Mar 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home African Continental

African Continental

Appeal against Wal-Mart and Massmart merger in South Africa

Appeal against Wal-Mart and Massmart merger in South AfricaCape Town, October 20, 2011 - Court hearing commences today to determine whether the South African merger of Wal-Mart and Massmart can proceed, or whether the matter should be referred back to the Competition Tribunal for consideration.Three South African Government Ministries, supported by labour federation COSATU, are appealing based on their claim that the earlier Competition Tribunal proceedings were fundamentally flawed and are seeking a full rehearing of the matter.The Ministries' case will be followed by a hearing on the appeal entered by UNI Global Union affiliate and the union representing retail workers in South Africa, SACCAWU.SACCAWU presented new evidence to the court only days ago which shows that Massmart has already imported Wal-Mart's anti-union practices and that the company has already started growing its imports and reducing local sourcing, both of which are key factors under South Africa's merger approval regime. Philip Jennings, General Secretary, UNI Global Union said, "UNI stands side by side with SACCAWU  and COSATU in this case.  We welcome the Government's demands that the full story be told before this merger goes forward. We have opposed Wal-Mart's entry into South Africa because it will clearly threaten conditions in the retail sector, reduce jobs in the supply chain, and will  have a negative impact on the wider economy and society as well."The unions are contesting the findings of the Competition Commission and Competition Tribunal on the grounds that proper consideration was not given to substantial evidence provided by labour, independent experts and government experts. The evidence of these experts pointed to clear concerns about Wal-Mart's track record of slashing jobs, destroying local economies and anti-union behaviour.South Africa's Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, have applied for a review of the acquisition.Michael Bride of North America's United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), who is attending the hearing in Cape Town stated, "We support the actions of the Government departments, COSATU and SACCAWU because we have seen the impact that the Wal-Mart business model can have on workers". Bride, who represents a 1.3 million member union based in Wal-Mart's homeland pointed to the disparity between what Wal-Mart told the Tribunal and what it is telling investors, stating "Wal-Mart has been assuring its investors - as recently as last week in Bentonville, Arkansas - that it will use its global muscle in areas like procurement to push costs down even further.  It is difficult to reconcile this position with the claim that Wal-Mart will be good for South African suppliers, which is why the Appeals Court should not confirm the Tribunal's decision in its current form".The Competition Appeal court will hear both the review and appeal this week. October 24 has been set aside in case the appeal and review hearings are not fully completed by Friday.The Competition Appeals Court is the appellate body under South Africa's competition law regime.It will hear the case as appealed from the Competition Tribunal, which ruled in May 2011 that Wal-Mart could enter the South African market, subject to certain conditions. 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 October 2011 17:14 )


Uganda slams corruption charges on three ministers

UGANDAN government yesterday charged three top ruling party ministers with abuse of office over alleged misused of funds meant for hosting the 2007 Commonwealth summit in...

Zimbabwe’s bishops threatened, abused, report claims

  ANGLICAN bishops in Zimbabwe are reportedly receiving death threats and one worshipper who refused to follow an excommunicated leader was killed. This was revealed in a d...

South Sudan urges UN’s action against Khartoum over Abyei

South Sudan urges UN’s action against Khartoum over Abyei SOUTH Sudan has called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to set a deadline for Sudan to withdraw its troops from the disputed region of Abyei or be held “accoun...

African airlines seek assistance, cut in taxes, others

African airlines seek assistance, cut in taxes, others

AIRLINES in Africa have solicited for the support of governments on the continent to wriggle out of their present predicament. Virtually all of them, with the exception o...

Nigeria South East Economic Summit holds Sept. 1-2 in Enugu

Nigeria  South East Economic Summit holds Sept. 1-2 in Enugu From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Monday, August 22, 2011
Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim and Minister of Financ...

Marathon slumps on Libya subpoena

Marathon slumps on Libya subpoena Shares in US giant Marathon Oil Corporation took a beating late on Monday after the company revealed it has been hit with a legal writ from authorities over payments to L...

Tap increases Accra slice

Tap increases Accra slice Upstream staff  10 August 2011 05:48 GMT Tap said it had executed an agreement to purchase the 5% stake from joint venture partner Challenger Minerals for $1.5 million. The ...

Total eyes Kenya acreage

Total eyes Kenya acreage The French major has shown an early interest in one block in the East African country, the report from news wire Dow Jones read. It is unclear from the report, however, if...
Page 9 of 13