The General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) is calling on the Competition Commission of South Africa to refuse to sanction the takeover of Clover by a corporate consortium led by Israeli-based company, Central Bottling Company (CBC). GIWUSA objects to the takeover on two main grounds: political and economic. GIWUSA says that accepting the current Clover deal would not be in the best public interest.
“Clover is being taken over by an Israeli-based company called the Central Bottling Company – this company is operating in the occupied Palestinian territories,” said general secretary of GIWUSA, John Appolis.
“The Competition Commission has provisionally agreed to the takeover, but now the process is being subjected to the approval of the Competition Tribunal – which is meeting on 14 August.”
“As GIWUSA, we oppose the takeover by the CBC based in the occupied territories of Palestine for two reasons: Firstly, the company is violating international law by operating in the occupied territories and secondly, this takeover is allowing the retrenchment of 516 workers. We feel that in the context of high unemployment in South Africa, it’s highly irresponsible for the Competition Commission to have provisionally agreed to it.”
Appolis indicated that GIWUSA was requested to lodge a formal, written submission to the Competition Commission by 7 August and to thereafter appear and make a verbal submission to the Competition Tribunal on 14 August.
According to Appolis, other organisations with a public interest in the matter may also submit a verbal objection at the hearing on 14 August.
“We have already made our written submission and we hope that other organisations with a public interest in this matter will attend the hearing to make their objections known.”
Since its inception, the “Clover deal” with CBC has faced widespread public disapproval and has been riddled with objections from several groups and organisations. Recently, the Brimstone Investment Corporation agreed to remove itself from the deal after it faced strong public backlash due to its involvement.