Posted: June 15, 2011 |  AUTHOR: KEN FOX | CONTACT ME


1. South Africa was included for the first time in the annual 2011 BRIC leadership summit. Wall Street analysts, business planners, government officials and academics use the acronym BRIC to represent the countries with the greatest growth potential. BRIC represents: Brazil, Russia, India and China. These countries are included in many Fortune 500 annual reports and global company’s growth plans. Representatives from the BRIC countries meet annually in a leader’s summit to discuss shared cooperation, various challenges and opportunities, as well as improving cooperation and dialogue. South Africa requested attending and was invited to the third annual “BRICS” leader’s summit in Sanya, Hainan Province, China on April 14, 2011. Watch for BRIC to become BRICS.

2. Wal-Mart announced on September 27, 2010 its intention to acquire 51% of Massmart Holdings, Ltd, in a transaction worth $4.6 billion. Massmart is South Africa’s second largest retailer. It is based in Johannesburg and owns 290 stores, mostly in South Africa under a variety of names, pricing models and formats. The deal was approved by the South African government on May 31, 2011. Massmart also operates 24 stores in 12 other African countries including: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. Massmart store names include:

-84 “game” discount stores

-12 “Makro” warehouse club stores

-65 “CBW” food wholesale and buyer association stores

-22 “Massbuild” home improvement stores

-17 “builder’s express” home improvement stores

-7 JUMBO food/grocery stores

-3 DION Wired stores

Among others.

I hypothesize this acquisition, by U.S. Wal-Mart, will facilitate and legitimize additional Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in South Africa and Africa in general.

Quick Facts about South Africa

Full name: Republic of South Afica

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Population (2010): 50.5 million

Area: 470,693 square miles (one eighth the size of the U.S.)

Capital: Pretoria (administrative)

Largest city: Johannesburg

Number of provinces: 9

Official recognized languages: 11, including Aftikaans and English

Monetary unit: 1 Rand=100 cents

Main exports: gold, diamonds, metals and minerals, cars and machinery

Adult literacy rate: 83% (Source: WHO)

GNP (2009): $287 billion

Real GNP growth rate (2008): 3.7%

Unemployment rate: (1st quarter, 2010): 25%


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