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Tottenham sponsorship deal officially cancelled

South African Tourism's proposed R1bn sponsorship deal with UK football club Tottenham Hotspur has been cancelled. This follows Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille's update to the media on 24 March 2023 on the SA Tourism and Tottenham Hotspur FC sponsorship proposal. As requested, on Wednesday 29 March 2023, De Lille received a response from the SA Tourism board chairperson, Thozamile Botha, regarding the proposed sponsorship deal.
Source: Freepik

The deal, which sparked nationwide controversy, had critics question the nearly R1bn it would cost. SA Tourism says the deal was meant to promote the country to the overseas tourism market.

"In a letter from the SA Tourism board chairperson, based on the advice I have given to the board and which I had publicly stated, that the deal should not proceed, the SA Tourism board has agreed not to proceed with the proposal."

"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 cost-effectively, exploring multiple options and with due consideration for all priorities."

Engaging SA Tourism

"Our justification for any significant spending must still make sense in terms of the broader economic climate we find ourselves in as a country.
In this regard, I look forward to working with South African Tourism and the Department of Tourism on strategic actions we can take to enhance South Africa’s position globally as a top tourist destination."

De Lille said that she will continue to engage with SA Tourism and the department in more detail on the department’s budget to ensure that we fulfil our mandate of growing visitor numbers to South Africa, providing the necessary support to enable growth, increase job creation and increase the sector’s contribution to the economy.

"I hope that all proposals going forward will be discussed at the earliest time to ensure that myself and the department, together with our main entity SA Tourism, work together from the onset and seeks advice and support from one another while following all due processes and legislative requirements."

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