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blundered in the Wal-Mart case”; “Those opposing the Wal-Mart deal would better be
served promoting manufacturing progress than attempting to restrict competition” , and
“rather than oppose the deal, government should embrace it and use it as a chance to
change the competitiveness of SA’s local manufacturing industry and get it connected to
a global supply chain”. There were still others who took the middle road, highlighting a
“dilemma” best summed up by one editorial headline “Wal-Mart: good for shoppers, bad
Most investment analysts and economists supported the merger on the basis that, in
addition to lower prices, it was a vote of confidence in the South African economy and 61 could lead to more investments. However, one analyst pointed to the internationally
“growing volume of research that illustrates the high cost of Wal-Mart’s low prices.
South African Youth Council
In its submissions in parliament, the South African Youth Council highlighted the crisis of
unemployment in South Africa and its effect on the youth. Citing studies conducted in
the US on the effect of Wal-Mart on local labour markets, it rejected the entry of WalMart in South Africa on the basis of its potential impact on jobs. The media can be
classified as a dangerous stakeholder.
The SMMEF did not take a principled view against the merger, but argued for the
safeguarding of SMMEs from its effects. They argued for a condition that would ensure
supplier development focused on SMMEs. 5.3 Research Questions 5.3.1 Who were the main stakeholders during Wal-Mart’s entry into South Africa?
The stakeholders who became involved or expressed their views during Wal-Mart’s
entry into South Africa are listed in Table 4. Based on their salience, that is their power,
legitimacy and urgency, the government and COSATU-affiliated trade unions were
identified as key stakeholders. 62 Table 4: Summary of Results for Research Question 1 - Key Stakeholders KEY STAKEHOLDERS Trade Unions
Government OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Business Associations
- Business Unity South Africa
- SMME Forum
Regulators – Competition Tribunal
Trade Union - FEDUSA
International Trade Union –
- Free Market Foundation
- South African Youth Council
- Earthlife Africa
- Economic Justice Network
- Black Sash
- Labour Research Service 5.3.2 What were the stakeholders’ roles and motives?
The motives of the trade unions were job-protection. They also wanted to protect their
organisational rights they felt were threatened by Wal-Mart’s arrival. SACCAWU, in
particular, wanted the retrenched workers reinstated. First prize for the unions was to
block entry altogether, failing this was to have authorities imposing conditions
addressing its concerns. The unions organised pickets and opposed the entry in courts
and with the competition authorities.
The motives of government were to protect, and increase the numbers of South African
suppliers to Wal-Mart, consequently protecting existing, and creating new, jobs.
Government sought to get a commitment from Wal-Mart to purchase certain volumes of 63 products locally. Government appointed a panel to advise on the impact of the merger,
made submissions at the Tribunal calling for conditions, and challenged the Tribunal’s
decision approving the merger in courts.
Table 5: Summary of Results for Research Question 2 - Stakeholder Motives and Roles Motive Stakeholders
Government Protection of local
Preservation of jobs
from Wal-Mart Roles Trade Unions Reinstatement of
Protect labour rights
Preservation of jobs
Protection of local
Block Wal-Mart entry Parliament Unknown Competition
Tribunal Preservation of
competition and public
interest Appointed an advisory panel
Called a social dialogue between
Intervened at the Tribunal seeking
remedies or prohibition
Made submissions in parliament
Reviewed the decision of the
Tribunal in court. Made submissions before
Picketed at the Tribunal
Made submissions in parliament Called public hearings Approved the merger subject to
conditions 5.3.3 How did stakeholder groups react to the entrance of Wal-Mart into South
The trade unions publicly objected to the entrance of Wal-Mart into South Africa. They
opposed the merger of Wal-Mart and Massmart before the competition authorities on
public interest grounds, namely that the merger would lead to deterioration in the quality
of jobs (casualization), and a reduction of jobs in the supply chain as Wal-Mart shift to
imports. When they dissatisfied with the decision of the Competition Tribunal, they
64 appealed to the Competition Appeal Court. Trade unions also organised demonstrations
and picketed against the entry.
NUMSA announced; “in the interests of the vast majority of our people who are victims
of the tri...
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This document was uploaded on 01/24/2014.
- Winter '14