DA slams hostility to Walmart

06 October 2011 - 03:02 By Sapa
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Cabinet ministers are driving an ideological agenda against the giant US retailer Walmart, the DA said.

It claimed the competition authorities were being misused to further this agenda.

"Theloser is much-needed competition in retailing," DA trade and industry spokesman Tim Harris said. Consumers, he said, would benefit from a new entrant who would compete with the dominant retailers.

The departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, economic development, and trade and industry said Walmart's acquisition of South Africa's Massmart could have a devastating effect on employment.

They called for the transaction to be sent back to the Competition Tribunal for further consideration, and for more stringent conditions to be imposed.

The review and appeal are expected to be heard in the Competition Appeal Court on October 20 and 21.

Harris said: "Ministers Rob Davies, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Ebrahim Patel have missed no opportunity to intervene in the entry of Walmart into this country, despite the competition authorities approving the deal with conditions designed to protect South African jobs and businesses."

The ministers' "knee-jerk" opposition was creating uncertainty, and damaging this country's reputation as an investment destination.

"T he government should welcome the deal as a vote of confidence in South Africa ," said Harris

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