Cape Town - The SA Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Forum on Monday decried the lack of conditions attached to the Walmart-Massmart merger deal.
"While the forum has always indicated that it is not opposed to the transaction, we are still of the view that this transaction should not be approved without the necessary conditions," it said.
The forum was particularly displeased by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel's "lack of cogent intervention" in support of emerging enterprises.
They stood to be "adversely affected" should the commitments made by one of the merging parties, and submitted to the Competition Commission by the forum, not be made part of the conditions for the transaction.
The forum said it would proceed with a submission to the Competition Tribunal and would also argue its case before the tribunal, should this become necessary.
Last week, the commission said the proposed Walmart and Massmart merger did not raise competition concerns.
The commission said it had made a recommendation to this effect on the deal between Walmart Stores and Massmart Holdings to the Competition Tribunal.
Walmart is acquiring a controlling stake in Massmart.
Walmart is a United States-based company that retails a wide range of products such as groceries, electronics, furniture and clothing in 15 countries.
Massmart is a wholesaler and a retailer of grocery products, liquor and general merchandise and is listed on the JSE.
The SA SMME Forum's concerns related to Walmart's "record on labour rights and the effect of its procurement practices on local manufacturers and suppliers".
But the commission said: "With respect to these issues, the merging parties have assured the commission that they will honour pre-existing union agreements and abide by South African labour law, and will source the majority of their products locally."
It informed the tribunal that it would have to consider further representation on these issues at its hearing.