Wednesday October 05, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Idele Esterhuizen
Walmart's acquisition of Massmart can have a "potentially devastating" effect on local jobs, three government departments said. The transaction should be sent back to the Competition Tribunal for proper consideration and more effective conditions to be imposed, the departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; economic development; and trade and industry said in a statement. "Government has argued that the merging parties will increase imports, relying on Walmart's vast and extensive international procurement capability," said Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel. "We are concerned that tens of thousands of jobs could be lost in the local factories that currently supply Massmart and other local retailers.”
Centre for Development and Enterprise executive director Ann Bernstein said that the closure of clothing factories in Newcastle, in KwaZulu-Natal, reflected the constraints of existing labour legislation on job creation in South Africa. The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union said in the past week many clothing factories in Newcastle were exposed for violating workers’ human and labour rights. Bernstein called for a more labour-intensive growth strategy as the country’s labour laws made it too expensive to employ large numbers of unskilled people.
South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan was being diluted by ancillary objectives, the biggest being unemployment and black economic empowerment, the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics director for policy research on international services Professor Mike Morris said. While good industrial policy intervention led to growth, and eventually created a platform for job creation, its underlying principle of creating international competiveness was being diffused by other key objectives of government. It was critical to empower the country’s previously disadvantaged and create employment, but it should not be the job of industrial policy “to fix” the country’s racial and income inequalities and unemployment challenges.
Also making headlines:
The Dalai Lama's cancellation of his trip to South Africa was a "huge, huge publicity disaster for our country", a political analyst said on Wednesday.
Libyan interim government forces have pledged to mount a final decisive attack on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown and one of his former lieutenants says he believes the deposed leader is ready to fight to the end.
And, there is nothing unusual about interaction between ANC MPs and the public on the Protection of State Information Bill, the party said yesterday.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.