Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome to Sam's Club

Mail & Guardian, October 1, 2010 (link):

On the proposed bid by Wal-Mart for Massmart...

1. "South Africa may not be invited to the Bric party, but it looks like we're welcome in Uncle Sam's club -- and that may say more important things about the country and the region".

2. "Walmart is buying 232 South African stores and 24 more across the continent, as well as the serious expertise of Massmart's management. But what it is really buying is the idea of a South African, and an African, middle class."

3. "It is buying the idea of Africans as consumers of goods and services rather than recipients of aid. That is a big deal, very much to be celebrated, and not just for symbolic reasons. For starters, it refocuses interest in Africa away from the resource plays that continue to dominate inward investment and towards the continent's people.