Panel to advise Patel on Walmart, Massmart deal

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has set up a panel to advise government on the likely implications of United States’ firm Walmart’s bid to buy more than 50% of local retailer Massmart.

The panel was established, Patel said in reply to a Parliamentary question on Monday, after he met with top executives from Walmart and Massmart last month.

“At that meeting, the two companies provided the rationale for the proposed transaction. Following the dialogue with Walmart and Massmart, I have set up an advisory panel to identify the relevant policy issues and the implications of the proposed acquisition, particularly from an economic development perspective.”

Members of the panel include the deputy director-general of economic development Neva Makgetla, Standard Bank group economist Goolam Ballim, Industrial Development Corporation CEO Geoffrey Qhena and Iraj Abedian from Pan-African Investment and Research Services.

Patel said officials from his department were in talks with Walmart and Massmart to obtain further details about the planned deal, and would also meet with retailers, manufacturers and trade unionists to hear their concerns about it.


“During the envisaged further discussions with the two companies, a number of issues identified in the report of the advisory panel and the views of stakeholders will be canvassed,” he said.

“This will include the issues of the impact of the proposed transaction on social and economic development, local jobs including supplier industries, small business and consumers.”

The SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union has threatened to go on strike if the deal goes ahead. Walmart has a reputation for being at loggerheads with US trade unions.

Saccawu this month handed Massmart CEO Grant Pattison a set of demands pertaining to the proposed deal, including that employment conditions and agreements remain intact afterwards. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Why no vaccine at all is better than a botched...

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…