The newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille has advised the South African Tourism board to completely stop the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal.
The minister was speaking during a media briefing on Friday which was aimed to give clarity on the stance of the deal and has since laid out the three reasons for stopping the deal, including that it is a procurement event which does not comply with Section 217 of the Constitution and the Treasury instructions issued in terms of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 (PFMA) and SA Tourism’s own Supply Chain Management Policy.
“The sponsorship is a service which was proposed to be acquired by procurement through “sole source”. The sponsorship has not been budgeted for as required by section 53 of the PFMA and that the expenditure thereon would be irregular or unauthorised within the meaning of those terms in the PFMA. The deal amounts to a “significant partnership transaction” which required the Minister’s prior approval in terms of Section 54 (2) of the PFMA.” De Lille said.
According to the Minister, sole source procurement is only allowed where there is no competition in the market and only one supplier is able to provide the goods or services, which does not appear to be the case regarding the Tottenham sponsorship.
“As a country, when we enter into such massive partnerships, it is vital that we are able to be fully accountable, that we are transparent and can answer South Africans clearly and honestly. Based on the Board Chairperson’s interim response received this morning 24 March 2023, my advice to the SA Tourism Board is that the proposal may as well be stopped completely.” said Minister De Lille.
The Minister wrote to the SA Tourism Board on Wednesday 22 March 2023 asking for their response regarding the matter and she is expecting their response to her letter by 29 March 2023.
“One of the key matters in this portfolio, which I have inherited, is that of the Tottenham Hotspur FC and SA Tourism Sponsorship Proposal which has been in the public domain for a few weeks. Given the circumstances we find ourselves in economically, there has to be much more careful consideration of everything we do as government. Money must at all times be spent wisely and prudently as we are entrusted with the public’s funds.” she said.
De Lille said that the Department of Tourism was committed to growing tourism, getting into untapped markets and reaching its full potential but that all processes need to be done in accordance with the law and due process.
“Now in this time of global economic crisis, we need innovation and we need to work together to grow our markets and create more jobs for our people in a cost effective manner. This matter has been marred by a lot of controversy and has raised many questions and we need to resolve this matter decisively and in the best interest of the people of South Africa as soon as possible.” Minister De Lille said.