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Unformatted text preview: who have been in private practise before and
Wessels is an economist who has worked for the National Energy Regulator of South
Africa and the Competition Commission of South Africa before.
The following documents from parliament form part of the sample:
• Transcript of the public hearing of the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on
Economic Development (Portfolio Committee) on the entry of Wal-Mart into South
Africa. • Media release issued by Parliament on Wal-Mart public hearings. 4.4.6 SMME Forum
From the SMME Forum, Tebogo Khaans’ witness statement at the Tribunal and an
article published in the Business Day newspaper was part of the sample.
Articles from various newspapers and business magazines that were sourced from an
electronic data base from a media monitoring agent, Newsclip Media, were reviewed.
One hundred And thirty documents were elected to be part of the sample. 46 4.5 The Research Process 4.5.1 Data Collection
As indicated above, this research exclusively relied on publicly available documents. A
similar data collection method was used by Uusitalo and Rokman (2004). However,
whereas Uusitalo and Rokman (2004) relied on limited data sources, such as media
reports, this research had the added benefit of accessing data from the formal hearings
held on Wal-Mart’s entry by official authorities, such as parliament and competition
authorities. This research relies on a much richer source as the regulatory processes,
parliamentary hearing, media articles and press statements by various stakeholders
provided a treasure-trove of relevant documents. All documents used were in the public
The intended merger between Wal-Mart and Massmart was notified to the Competition
Commission and objections were received from various stakeholders. In terms of the
Competition Act, the Competition Commission made a recommendation to the
Competition Tribunal on the merger. Following the filing of factual and economic expert
witness statements, the Competition Tribunal held public hearings on the merger where
oral evidence from Wal-Mart and Massmart executives, economic experts, objectors
(government, trade Unions and SMMEs) and a competitor was heard. The Tribunal
hearings were transcribed by an independent service provider.
Following the Tribunal’s conditional approval of the takeover of Massmart by Wal -Mart,
an outcry by trade unions and the government ensued, with claims that the conditions
imposed by the Tribunal were inadequate to address the public interest issues
emanating from the proposed take-over. Consequently, parliament convened public
hearings on the transaction in order to better understand the implications and get the
47 concerns of stakeholders. The parliamentary hearings were transcribed by a service
provider procured by the researcher.
Print media articles were obtained from a media monitoring agent, Newsclip Media
Monitoring, and cover the period September 2010 to September 2011. From the more
than 450 articles that were collected, 130 were selected and thoroughly reviewed for the
research. Articles offering the widest possible selection of stakeholder views were
chosen. For example, an article reporting on a stakeholder’s views that were not found
in any other article was chosen over articles that were very similar to others.
Press releases were obtained from the websites of the organisations that issued them,
apart from SACCAWU, whose press release was obtained from the COSATU website.
There were thirteen press releases from Wal-Mart and Massmart, seven from the
unions, three from the government, one from Parliament and one from the Competition
Tribunal. The press releases covered the period from September 2010 to September
All the documents used were readily available and in the public domain and provide a
holistic view of the stakeholders. Some of the documents were generated during formal
submissions in parliament and, in the case of Tribunal proceedings, made under oath;
while some were generated in less formal environments such as media statements. The
use of this variety in the types of documents was aimed at gathering as authentic a view
on the position of the parties as possible.
It is submitted that the data used for this research is robust and credible because: Senior executives of Wal-Mart and Massmart, the Vice-President and the
Chief Executive Officer respectively, the Director General of the
Department of Economic Development and trade union leaders gave
48 witness statements at the Tribunal. Some of them, other members of the
public, and the president of COSATU made submissions at a subsequent
parliamentary hearing. The information provided to the Tribunal was detailed and extensive. Witness testimony was subjected to cross-examination by opposing parties
and questioning by the Competition Tribunal panel constituting two lawyers
and an economist. The South African Competition Tribunal is required by law to give all sides
the opportunity to be heard before it makes its decisions, and its processes
and decisions are subject to judicial oversight. Parliament is a respected state inst...
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- Winter '14