Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has been appointed as the government's expert on the Wal-Mart study, the economic development department said on Tuesday.
This followed the Competition Appeal Court's judgment on 9 March, ordering that a study be commissioned to determine the most appropriate means, together with the mechanism, by which South African suppliers could respond to the merger between Wal-Mart and Massmart.
The study would be conducted by three experts, one each representing the government, SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart would carry the costs of the study.
"Government notified the Competition Appeal Court today [Tuesday] that its appointed representative to the expert panel is Prof Joseph Stiglitz," the department said in a statement.Impressive credentials
Stiglitz was recognised internationally as a leading economist, with vast experience in dealing with the effects of globalisation.
"His work has shown the value of smart government action to promote social equity, growth and economic development."
Stiglitz has previously served as chief economist for the World Bank and as adviser to President Bill Clinton.
"The ministers believe that Prof Stiglitz will add depth and global know-how to the work of the panel and can assist the parties to identify an appropriate and constructive remedy to the potential negative public interest effects identified by the Competition Appeal Court arising from the merger," the department said.
The departments of trade and industry, economic development and agriculture, forestry and fisheries were party to proceedings involving the Wal-Mart-Massmart merger at the Competition Appeal Court. These had involved both a review of the Competition Tribunal's decision, as well as an appeal against it.
Costs of approximately R1.4m had been incurred for the account of each of the three departments for the review and appeal at the Competition Appeal Court to date. The parties to the merger applied to the Competition Commission for approval of the proposed transaction during late 2010.
via I-Net Bridge