Namibian court issues strict conditions on Walmart

The Supreme Court of Namibia on Friday backed the decision by competition authorities to impose conditions on Walmart’s purchase of South African retailer Massmart, which has three local subsidiaries.

The high court earlier this year scrapped the conditions imposed by the Competition Commission but the supreme court reinstated them on appeal.

“The order made by the high court declaring the conditions unlawful and invalid will be set aside,” acting Judge Kate O’Regan ruled, together with two other judges.

The competition authority says the R16.5-billion merger should undergo a separate review by the trade and industry ministry.

It also wants assurances that the deal would not cost Namibia any jobs, would not harm small and medium-sized businesses and would promote “greater spread of ownership” among black Namibians.


Walmart’s lawyers had argued that the conditions were “vague, unlawful, irrational and therefore invalid”.

Namibia’s Competition Act allows that conditions set by the commission can be reviewed by the trade and industry minister.

According to court papers, Walmart only gave 10 days to the minister, which his lawyers argued was too short.

Massmart has three subsidiaries active in Namibia — Game Discount World, Windhoek Cash and Carry and CCW Namibia Properties.

Massmart runs a total of nine wholesale and retail chains with 288 stores in 14 African countries.

The merger has already taken place after South Africa’s Competition Tribunal approved the deal on May 31.

Three South African ministers have appealed the decision. Like Namibia, they want to see greater protections for jobs and small businesses. — Sapa-AFP

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

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African connection: How mercenaries aided Trump ally in...

The UN found that Trump ally Erik Prince violated the Libyan arms embargo. Here are the South Africans the report says helped him to do so

Q&A Sessions: African court ‘will be a tough job’ — Dumisa...

Lawyer, author and political activist Dumisa Ntsebeza talks to Nicolene de Wee about his appointment as judge of the African Court on Human and...

More top stories

In a bizarre twist VBS liquidators sue KPMG for R863mn

In filed court documents, the VBS liquidators are blaming auditing firm KPMG’s negligence for the alleged looting of the bank

Snip, snip: Mboweni eyes wage bill, other future spending cuts

Last year, the finance minister noted that increased government spending has failed to promote growth over the past decade

Budget: Mboweni pegs recovery hopes on vaccine efficacy, lower public...

The treasury forecasts 3.3% growth, but warns this will fall to 1.6% if the fledgeling vaccination programme fails to stem successive Covid waves

READ IT IN FULL: Mboweni’s 2021 budget speech

Read the finance minister's address on the budget for 2021
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…