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Massmart – Walmart appoint Professor Mike Morris to participate in Competition Appeal Court study

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Following the order handed down by the Competition Appeal Court on 9th March 2012, Massmart-Walmart announces the appointment of Professor Michael Morris of PRISM (Policy Research in
International Services and Manufacturing) at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town, as a member of the panel of experts that will conduct the study to identify how local South African suppliers can be assisted in order to benefit from the merger. A core focus, as described in the CAC ruling, will be “In particular…to canvass the best means by which
South African small and medium sized suppliers can participate in Wal-Mart’s global value chain training programmes that might be established to train local South African suppliers on how to conduct business with the merged entity …” Professor Morris is founder and Head of PRISM.

As an undergraduate, he studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Cape Town before moving on to the University of Sussex where he obtained an MA in Comparative Politics and a PhD from the Institute of Development Studies). Upon returning to South Africa in 1976, he lectured in the Economic History department at the University of Cape Town, and spent a number of years working as a part time trade unionist, for which he was detained in prison for 3 months. In January 1982, Professor Morris temporarily left academia and took up the full-time osition, as Branch Secretary of the General Workers Union in Durban.

In 1986 he returned to academia as a senior researcher at the University of Natal. Whilst still an academic in 1988 he started a national association for academics opposed to the Apartheid regime – the Union of Democratic University Staff Associations – and was elected General Secretary (1988 – 90) and Deputy President (1991). Professor Morris then concentrated on pursuing an academic and management career in the university (as Head of the School of Development Studies) and private sector environment as a director of a consulting company – Benchmarking and Manufacturing Analysts. Professor Morris is widely published in a number of fields including; development, political economy, international competitiveness; industrial restructuring and industrial policy and global value chains. His recent research, policy activities and publications have focused on the power dynamics of global value chains, industrial restructuring and
international competitiveness.

Commenting, Massmart CEO, Grant Pattison, said: “Professor Morris’s credentials, which include working with labour, government and the private sector, speak for themselves. He is well suited to participate in and make an objective contribution to this study based upon his intimate knowledge and extensive expertise in the area of global value chains and international competitiveness. We look forward to the insights and ideas that he, together with the experts appointed by SACCAWU and government, will share with the Competition Appeal Court”.

Media release issued by:
Brunswick Group – 011 502 7300
Gordon Kgaugelo Letsoalo – 079 510 6127

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