Government undemining competition - DA
Johannesburg - Cabinet ministers were driving an ideological agenda against Walmart, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
It claimed the competition authorities were being misused for this purpose.
"Ironically, the real loser here is much needed competition in the retail space," DA trade and industry spokesperson Tim Harris said in a statement.
This was where consumers would benefit from a new entrant to compete with the dominant retailers in the market.
Earlier, the departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; economic development; and trade and industry said Walmart's acquisition of Massmart could have a "potentially devastating" effect on local jobs.
They called for the transaction to be sent back to the Competition Tribunal for proper consideration and more effective conditions to be imposed.
The review and appeal were expected to be heard in the Competition Appeal Court on October 20 and 21.
Harris said: "Ministers Rob Davies, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Ebrahim Patel have missed no opportunity to intervene in the entry of Walmart into this country, despite the competition authorities approving the deal with conditions designed to protect South African jobs and businesses."
The ministers' "knee-jerk" ideological opposition was damaging the country's reputation as an investment destination by creating uncertainty.
"Instead of appealing the Competition Commission's decision, the government should welcome the deal as a massive vote of confidence in South Africa as a gateway to the rest of the continent," Harris said.