South Africa, one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world, seems a natural place for Wal-Mart to invest, say economists. But South African unions are pushing back.
Bharti Airtel, an Indian company, paid $9 billion for access to an African cellphone market serving 45 million. The world's last unsaturated market holds a potentially huge payoff.
A corruption scandal threatens to tear apart the fragile coalition government, prompting fear of a return to the ethnic violence that killed 1,300 and displaced hundreds of thousands after the disputed elections of December 2007.