Cape Town – Newly elected Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has confirmed the cancellation of the controversial R900 million Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal.
This comes a week after De Lille advised the SA Tourism not to proceed with their proposed sponsorship of English Premier League club Tottenham, labelling it “unlawful and invalid”.
After reports about SA Tourism’s proposal for Tottenham spread on social media, the organisation received backlash.
The minister confirmed on Thursday that the South African Tourism Board agreed not to proceed with the proposal.
“The SA Tourism Board will no longer proceed with the transaction, nor will it seek the concomitant requisite approvals for the proposed transaction.
“As stated before, in the current economic climate, the use of public funds must be carefully considered and for any department to fulfil its mandate, it must be done in a cost effective way, exploring multiple options and with due consideration for all priorities,” she said.
Media Statement: Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal stopped. pic.twitter.com/RUUM4bfTAw
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) March 30, 2023
She emphasised that her department’s justification for any significant spending must make sense in terms of the broader economic climate the country finds itself in.
She said the focus will now turn to growing the country’s tourism sector to enable growth, increase job creation and increase tourism’s contribution to the economy.
According to EWN, DA MP Manny de Freitas said De Lille’s decision proved the deal was unlawful, something that was declared by several legal experts, adding that the investigation into the matter should continue.
“At the next portfolio committee meeting, I will be asking that the investigation continue, anyway, as to how this proposal for Tottenham Hotspur could have taken place in the first place,” the report quoted de Freitas as saying.
Picture: Twitter/ @HendricksSumaya
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe