De Lille asks SA Tourism Board to scrap Tottenham Hotspur deal

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 24, 2023


Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has asked the board to scrap the controversial R1 billion deal with Tottenham Hotspur, saying it was unjustifiable.

De Lille said on Friday there were many priorities in the country than throwing such a vast amount of money into one deal.

She added she came to the decision for the deal to be scrapped after she obtained legal advice.

The legal advice said this was in violation of the Constitution, Treasury regulations, the Public Finance Management Act and Tourism’s own supply chain management policy.

The legal advice also found the sponsorship deal was not budgeted for.

The Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal sparked a huge public outcry a few months ago, leading even lawmakers in the national legislature to haul South African Tourism over the coals and calling for the deal to be canned.

De Lille said the deal had not been signed yet and she had advised the South African Tourism Board not to go ahead and sign the deal with Tottenham.

“There is no concluded deal that has been signed, that has been signed with anybody. The board approved the proposed deal with the subject of approval of the Minister of Tourism,” said De Lille.

She said because this was still a proposal, her advice to the board was that the deal must be scrapped.

She said she wrote to the board about this and asked them to come back to her by next Wednesday.

She also wrote to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana asking whether the deal had been approved, but he had not yet responded to her.

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