Competition The Magnificent Six
(Cue Western guitar, wind sounds, a haunting, whistled melody. A speck in the distance, resolving itself into a lone man, on a horse – ponchoe’d, stetsoned, perhaps sucking on a match, his eyes narrowed against the glare. He rides slowly down a dusty street where stores are shuttered, looking left and right. And stops, eventually, at a shiny new Shoprite, sounds of revelry and the jingling of cash registers. Slowly, he dismounts and walks, legs slightly bowed, through the massive glass doors.)
Whitey Basson (shining glasses behind one of the registers): Can I help ya, son?
Ebrahim Patel (for it is he): Maybe you can. And maybe you cain’t. I’m lookin’ for some competition.
Basson: You came to the right place! We’ve got plenty of that in these parts!
Patel: (flatly): I don’t see no spazas on the main street.
Basson: Well now… we got some independents in the corral out back if you’d care to take a looksee…
Patel (Leaning against the register, scanning the room): Nice mall you have here. Where’s the Pick n Pay?
Basson (flailing somewhat): Well, they don’t care to… that is to say… the landlord and us have an arrangement… who deputised you, anyways?
Comment: Having cast an eye (and an aspersion or two) on the healthcare sector, and prevented the construction boytjies from colluding on stadium contracts for the World Cup, the Competition Commission at the behest of Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, will shortly be launching an enquiry into the state of the competitive arts in our own great industry, including tenancy arrangements and the growth of township enterprises. “It’s intended to ensure that we’ve got a competitive but also inclusive retail sector," he says. “Time this town was cleaned up, anyhow.”