Cape Town - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
said on Wednesday the government is happy that US retail giant Walmart has chosen SA as an investment destination, and that it has made a comprehensive investment.
Answering a question in the National Assembly, Motlanthe said: "The point is that they have gone through everything. They have done a very thorough assessment, they have been through the Competition Tribunal and they were given the thumbs up.
"What they (Walmart) are saying is that all investors must come to SA. We agree (with Walmart) and are very happy that this is what they have done."
The question posed to Motlanthe was from Congress of the People MP Juli Kilian, who asked about the decline in foreign direct investment to the country which had fallen 70% from 2009 to 2010.
Kilian also pointed out that findings by the University of Johannesburg stated SA as a country now ranked 128th in in the world as an investment destination. Other countries similar to SA, such as Chile and Indonesia, ranked 19th and 20th respectively. Jobs for poor
She also asked if Motlanthe agreed that sustainable jobs should be created for the poor.
Motlanthe agreed with the second part of Kilian's question, but when addressing the FDI issue he pulled out Walmart's investment.
He praised Walmart for its investment and for the fact that it had done a country assessment.
"This means that no other American company needs to do such an assessment," he said.
The deputy president made no mention that three cabinet ministers had instituted a court action to have stronger conditions set for the R16.5bn merger of Walmart with local retailer Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM]
Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel
, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies
and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tina Joemat-Pettersson
's joint application to the Competition Appeals Court was also in support of a trade union's demands to have the approval reversed.
In their court application, the three ministers have claimed that Walmart's entry would lead to a loss of manufacturing capability and threaten food security.
The Competition Appeals Court heard the case in October and is still to make a ruling.