A “rational” decision has been taken by the new minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, to cancel the “ludicrous” R1-billion Tottenham Hotspur deal immediately.
De Lille’s decision comes after much public and political opposition to the proposed plan by the South African Tourism board. She echoed popular sentiments that the Tottenham sponsorship is unlawful.
Manny de Freitas – DA Shadow Minister of Tourism – said while the DA welcomes this move, the party is calling for these funds to be re-directed to much-needed dilapidated tourism infrastructure throughout the country. By doing this, SA Tourism will be ensuring that South Africa’s tourism numbers will grow, particularly in lesser-known parts of the country so that more on-the-ground opportunities and job creation takes place.
The DA also noted that De Lille will engage with the SAT board regarding the illegal appointment of SAT board members.
The DA has requested that the minister provides to the portfolio committee a full report of all expenditure with regards to this deal, as well as a full breakdown on cost. “This deal was a total waste of taxpayer monies and as such the minister must identify and reveal the names of those who will be held accountable to the committee. There should be stringent measures in place to hold SAT board members to account,” said De Freitas.
At the next Tourism Portfolio Committee meeting the DA says it will continue to push for an investigation as to how this matter was even considered in the first place.