Vavi attacks Walmart deal

2012-07-18 17:51

Pretoria - Granting approval for the contentious Walmart Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM] merger was a serious error by the Competition Commission, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

He told an SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union (Saccawu) conference in Centurion that the deal would have detrimental effects on South Africa's economy.

"The Competition Tribunal did not consider the broader interests of the South African economy and its people when it approved that merger," said Vavi.

"It should have looked at the rate of unemployment in our country which today stands at 36.6%.  It should have looked at our poverty and inequalities."

Vavi said the entrance of Walmart into the South African market would threaten even the existence of established retail shops like Shoprite Holdings [JSE:SHP] and Pick n Pay Stores [JSE:PIK].

"We warned that this thing was going to be a giant. It's going to be swallowing everything that moves in the economy," said Vavi.

"This is the beginning of the race to the bottom," he said.

Vavi said jobs would be lost as local retailers tried to align their operations with those of the world's largest retailer.

He commended the government for its support during the failed attempt to block the merger.

"They stood next to us and made the same arguments we were making up to the last moment. They were with us. They lost with us," he said.

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  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-18 19:54

    Viva Wallmart..Viva ! Their low prices contributes to a lower inflation..right.low inflation means lower interest rates..right.So what is Vavi waffling about ? If you have nothing to say dude...say nothing...dont waffle just to show you are still around.

      nketso.kgwadi - 2012-07-18 22:56

      Peter walmart will eliminate competition by acquiring or low prices until they exit the market and that's when they exploit workers and introduce exorbitant prices then inflation rises

      NrGx - 2012-07-19 13:11

      Nketso...let me enlighten you...the fact that wallmart will bring low prices will ENCOURAGE competition and PRODUCE jobs. This is exactly what SA needs, and this will illuminate just how PnP and Shopright have been fixing the pricing of products. Watch this space, the retail market is going to change....FOR THE BETTER!

  • hein.huyser - 2012-07-18 20:22

    And the only winner is???the consumer And the loser is??? The trade unions If Checkers and P/Pay can't compete they do not deserve to be here. There will be a shift in the enourmous inflasion chaser prices that we as consumers were dictated to by these retailers. Now they must keep their prices in check and my rand can buy me more, and by doing that, it will create a higher demand and it will force suppliers of goods to employ more people. Vavi, even my junior highschool kid can work this one out. What is your real agenda?

  • belinda.west.543 - 2012-07-18 20:30

    On the surface Walmart might seem like a good thing but if you dig a little deeper this company is riddled with exploitation, oppression and child labour. Do some research and see how many Americans have successfully stopped the opening of Walmart stores in their towns. Why would they stop "a good thing"? See the documentary: Walmart, The high price of low cost. Quite an eye opener.

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-07-18 21:03

    Vavi, go read a book. Start here:

  • clive.kihn - 2012-07-18 21:35

    Perhaps Mr Vavi is worried that Walmart might not put up with union intransigence and unproductive "workers".

  • slick.hounder - 2012-07-18 23:06

    Even the Shoprite Group , PnP and others even Woolies are ripe for the picking by International Companies. Many International Companies have already been poking their noses around the RSA for the last few years. In fact PnP may just be the next to GO and soon. You gonna object to these probabilities to VAVI??? LOL!

      sterling.ferguson.5 - 2012-07-19 00:20

      What is missing in this discussion is many supermarkets in SA have setup operations in other parts of Africa and making more money than in SA. For example, Shoprite started with two supermarkets in Nigeria and they now have seven hundred supermarkets. Many companies will go broke if they had not moved to other countries in Africa. Vavi forgot to mention that SA is running a trade surplus with the US and a deficit with China. He says nothing about all of the jobs being exported to China because of the trade policy of SA.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-07-19 07:29

    Slapping the dead horse.

  • anelda.bernardo - 2012-07-19 08:32

    get over it.....

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-19 09:29

    He said; "... Tribunal did not consider the broader interests of the South African economy and its people" But Vavi neither do you! If you really wanted to do the right thing for SA, you would quit your job. Become e.g an honest, non-exploitative labour broker, earning low commissions and fees, with reasonable contracts. Put people to work. Or lobby against employment stifling, economy-wrecking labour-legislation. Or Start a business, go and give wek to people. Then experience what labour-law hell and attitude many employers have to contend with. As you are now, you are a big part of the problems that beset SA.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-07-19 09:31

    Good luck to Masmart/Walmart, if they can reduce prices to the consumer? Who wins not the unions who are continually pushing for higher wages without productivity increases, every time wages go up unions garner more funds. Presently the reported inflation rate is stated at around 5% so why are unions demanding double digit increases? Business and Suppliers of consumables need to be competitive to stay in the market and the way to achieve this is by productivity, not higher wages.

  • Michael - 2012-07-19 11:24

    Research Walmart. It is a behemoth animal that eats up companies, and then retrenches staff to make even more money

  • nina.ignjatov - 2012-07-19 11:49

    Wallmart is aimed at the LOwer bracket!!! Where a basket full of goods will only cost R50 and these stores will be going up in the locations and taxi ranks!!! I think this will bring the simple need of food at reasonable prices for For the poor!!! I think a little competition will not harm! Wish that more banks, and telecommunication companies would too enter our markets to give us better services and prices and add competition which is healthy!!!! As now it's one player holder monopoly TELKOM!!!!

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