Corporate giants dominate the South African economy, with most industries controlled by a handful of players, and some economists believe that the status quo has a stranglehold on the country. Anglo American, whose pre-1994 history saw its tentacles reach into every corner of the South African economy, from paper and packaging to financial services, is an example of one of those giants. Likewise conglomerate Barlow Rand, now trading as Barloworld, had interests in mining, information technology and building materials. Anglo returned to its mining roots after selling off its stakes in companies such as The Argus Group, now Independent Newspapers, Southern Life and South African Breweries, but the culture of dominance by a small number of players has remained. A report released last month by the Industrial Development Think Tank at the University of Johannesburg said some data show that concentration levels in the South African economy are worsening, as over the past decades companies...

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