The African National Congress (ANC) in the Northern Cape is looking at purchasing an Absa Premiership football club, which would reportedly involve taxpayers' money.
According to a report on TimesLIVE, the ruling party's Northern Cape branch has set aside around R30 million of its budget towards the purchasing and running of a Premiership football club to increase tourism to the province.
"The Free State is next to us and they have soccer teams there but for us, we want to push sports tourism in the province," said ANC Northern Cape provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga.
"We then identified a sporting code that might fast-track the issue of sports tourism and that's when the idea of a soccer team came about."
Apparently, the process has already made significant progress.
"We assigned the premier to explore this and also negotiate with teams who are willing to sell their (Premiership) status to the Northern Cape so that we can acquire a soccer team," Ngxanga added.
"We said the government of the Northern Cape province must implement it. The premier has already started this process and has reported to us that they have made progress."
Regardless of how successful they are in reaching an agreement to purchase the rights, it will not be as simple as changing the team's name and taking over operations.
According to PSL chief executive Mato Madlala, the situation is unprecedented and would, therefore, have to be vigorously scrutinised before it was rubberstamped by the organisation.
"Let's start by saying this would be the first of its kind because we have never been approached by any government structures about buying [a club franchise]," she said.
"We would have to look at our rules."
According to the report, early suggestions indicate it could cost the branch up to R30 million to purchase a team and the name of the new club would be Northern Cape Football Club.
- TEAMtalk media