In South Africa McDonald’s Is a One-Man Monopoly

March 25, 2011  |  

(The Economist) — BORN in a black township in 1952, Cyril Ramaphosa rose to become South Africa’s leading trade unionist, switching to politics and then to business after the end of apartheid. He became one of the country’s richest men, and is still occasionally mentioned as a possible future president. Now he is the face of McDonald’s in Africa’s biggest economy.  Mr Ramaphosa, who once said his favourite meal was fish with salad, will own and run all the American burger giant’s operations in the country, including 132 outlets. He will have a 20-year franchise and a mandate to “turbocharge” growth. The price of the deal has not been revealed. Since opening its first restaurant in South Africa in 1995, McDonald’s has struggled against fierce home-grown competition. Famous Brands, its main rival, has more than 1,100 outlets, operating under such names as Steers, Wimpy and Mugg & Bean.

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