DA opposes SA's R1bn sponsorship deal 'lunacy' and will send a delegation to Tottenham to get answers

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DA's tourism spokesperson Manny De Freitas.
DA's tourism spokesperson Manny De Freitas.
PHOTO: Facebook/Manny De Freitas
  • The DA wants answers on an alleged sponsorship deal between Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and South African Tourism.
  • Reports are that the sponsorship deal is worth R1 billion. 
  • Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has distanced herself from the deal.

The DA plans to send a delegation to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to get to the bottom of the R1 billion sponsorship deal between the English Premier team and South African Tourism. 

DA's tourism spokesperson Manny de Freitas said in a statement on Wednesday that the party would be submitting questions on how the alleged deal, which it called "lunacy", came about. 

It emerged that the South African government, through SA Tourism (SAT), was looking at sealing a deal worth almost R1 billion to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur, one of England's elite soccer clubs.

SA Tourism proposed a three-year deal worth £42.5 million (about R900m) starting at the beginning of the 2023/24 English Premier League season and ending at the end of the 2026/27 season.

READ | Advertising, kit branding: Inside SA Tourism's nearly R1bn Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship proposal

In the statement on Wednesday, De Freitas said the alleged deal was "an insult for the South African tourism sector", which was hard hit during and after Covid. 

He said: 

The DA will do everything in our power to oppose this lunacy.

De Freitas said the party would also be tabling the matter at the next tourism portfolio committee meeting.

"The money should rather be spent locally to improve our tourism sector so that it can thrive, create jobs and in turn contribute to the much-needed growth of our economy," reads the DA's statement.

News24 understands that Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu met with Tourism SA acting CEO Themba Khumalo to discuss the deal.

READ | Load shedding crisis could save Dlamini-Zuma from Ramaphosa's Cabinet reshuffle

In a statement on Wednesday, Sisulu said that a "memorandum of understanding" between SA Tourism and Tottenham Hotspur was "non-binding" and was yet to be approved by the National Treasury. 

The minister said she had no personal interest in the deal and said media reports were "riddled with inaccuracies and untruths aimed at tarnishing" her name. 

"This is a blatant lie. This reported deal is purely an SAT Board matter," said Sisulu. 

The statement added that Sisulu had no say in the decisions of South African Tourism as the body was independent and made its own decisions. She said she had yet to be briefed by the organisation on the matter. 

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