There were still others who took the middle road

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Unformatted text preview: overnment has 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 for SA.” Investment Analysts 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. SMMEF 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 - COSATU - SACCAWU - FAWU - SACTWU - NUMSA Government OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Business Associations - Business Unity South Africa - SMME Forum Competitors Parliament Regulators – Competition Tribunal Political Parties Investment Analysts Trade Union - FEDUSA International Trade Union – UniGlobal Media NGOs - 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 suppliers Preservation of jobs Extract commitments from Wal-Mart Roles Trade Unions Reinstatement of retrenched workers Protect labour rights Preservation of jobs Protection of local suppliers Block Wal-Mart entry Parliament Unknown Competition Tribunal Preservation of competition and public interest Appointed an advisory panel Called a social dialogue between stakeholders Intervened at the Tribunal seeking remedies or prohibition Made submissions in parliament Reviewed the decision of the Tribunal in court. Made submissions before competition authorities 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 Africa? 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.

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