INVESTMENT: Walmart Decision All Wrong
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THE appeal by three Cabinet Ministers against the Walmart deal has sent a strong negative message to potential overseas investors, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
“When one sees the appeal in combination with the aggressive wage demands, strikes and the calls for the nationalisation of the mines, it is enough to unnerve any investor,” said Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber.
South Africa needed foreign investment and the skills transfers that went with it, but there seemed to be confusion in Government. “Instead of seeing the Walmart investment and its commitment to support South African suppliers as something positive and an opportunity for local manufacturers, we have three Cabinet Ministers who are clearly hostile and are doing their best to chase the big investor away.
“Walmart may be a demanding customer, but if local manufacturers can be helped to meet the required standards, they could suddenly find that they have Walmart selling their products in markets they had not dreamed of penetrating,” Mr Bagraim said.
The best and most constructive approach for the Ministers would be to speak to Walmart and local manufacturers and ask how they could help them improve production and expand their factories.
Instead, the three Ministers, who represent the Cosatu/SACP elements in the Government, seem to be hell bent on destroying the opportunity.
Mr Bagraim said the Chamber had faith that South Africans could rise to meet the challenge and compete successfully for business in global markets. “It is tragic that the Government is so negative and does not share our belief and optimism.”
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