South Africa


From Lindiwe Sisulu, With Love: Inside SA Tourism’s R1bn proposal to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur

From Lindiwe Sisulu, With Love: Inside SA Tourism’s R1bn proposal to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. (Photo: Leila Dougan | Unsplash | Wikimedia

Documents obtained by Daily Maverick show that the South African government, through its marketing agency SA Tourism, is preparing to ink a deal worth R910,997,814.75 to sponsor one of the English Premier League’s best-known teams, Tottenham Hotspur.

‘Executive Summary: Proposed 36-month sponsorship partnership with Tottenham Hotspur FC”, reads the first slide of a PowerPoint presentation stamped with the logo of SA Tourism.

Marked “Company Confidential”, this first presentation was apparently given by SA Tourism’s acting CEO, Themba Khumalo, on 27 January.

Daily Maverick understands that the proposal was due to be discussed again by the SA Tourism board, via a second — more elaborate — presentation, also in Daily Maverick’s possession, on Tuesday night.

Although Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was slated to be at Tuesday night’s SA Tourism board meeting, Daily Maverick has established that she ended up meeting Khumalo separately, ahead of the meeting.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Public concern builds as Lindiwe Sisulu confirms Spurs deal is on the table – but denies championing it”

Sisulu, through her spokesperson Mpumzi Zuzile, initially referred Daily Maverick’s questions on the sponsorship proposal to SA Tourism, while SA Tourism had not responded to Daily Maverick’s request for comment by publication.

Another Sisulu spokesperson, Steve Motale, subsequently asked Daily Maverick to delay publication while his team “established the facts”. *This article will be updated with further comments when received. (Update: see the statement issued in full below)

A R1bn deal to sponsor top English soccer team

What the PowerPoint presentations reveal is that the South African government, through its marketing arm SA Tourism, is seriously considering a proposal to spend close to R1-billion to sponsor one of the world’s most elite soccer teams.

Sources close to the matter told Daily Maverick that it was on the verge of being finalised, with Sisulu allegedly eager for the deal to be sealed before the impending Cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa moves her out of the Tourism portfolio, as is expected.

Read in Daily Maverick: “While tourist numbers surge, costly rolling blackouts have been a ‘game changer’ for Cape Town’s small businesses”

Sisulu did not respond to a direct question as to whether she was indeed personally championing the deal.

The presentation specifies that the total value of the sponsorship deal between SA Tourism and Tottenham Hotspur FC would be £42.5-million  over three years — which converts to R910,997,814.75 in South African currency, or just under a billion rand.

As a special flourish, the deal would be announced by President Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 10 February.

‘An exceptional global platform to partner with’

The first PowerPoint presentation explains that Tottenham Hotspur — the home of England captain Harry Kane, and colloquially known as Spurs — is the “8th most valuable football club brand globally”.

It notes that SA Tourism would be following in the footsteps of other “DMOs” — destination management organisations, which promote locations as travel destinations — in signing a sponsorship deal with a Premier League soccer team.

It lists Abu Dhabi’s sponsorship of Manchester City, Malta’s sponsorship of Manchester United and Rwanda’s sponsorship of Arsenal as similar deals — and adds a warning.

“If SA Tourism does not grab this opportunity, a competing DMO will!” it stated.

A tourism expert who spoke to Daily Maverick on condition of anonymity flatly contradicted any sense of urgency around the deal.

The expert said Tottenham Hotspur had sought sponsorship from SA Tourism as far back as 2017, but that the deal had always been rejected out of hand because the return on investment was “ludicrous”.

The tourism expert consulted by Daily Maverick said that the claims made about the marketing value of the deal were “absolute, unmitigated bullshit”.

In the presentation, it is claimed that Tottenham Hotspur represents “the highest-rank available global platform that meets SA Tourism’s criteria as an exceptional global platform to partner with”.

It states that, in the post-Covid era, with global travel opening up once more, SA Tourism needs “a series of BIG strategic and specific actions to re-assert our position”.

The first presentation does not provide details on exactly what kind of exposure South Africa would gain from the deal. A slide titled “3 business reasons why a sponsorship deal with Tottenham make [sic] sense? [sic]” lists a year-round global presence, the fact that rival DMOs are signing similar agreements, and an unspecified “high business return on investment”.

Second presentation defends disproportionate use of marketing budget

A second presentation, seen by the SA Tourism board on Tuesday night, is far glossier and more detailed.

It also bears the hallmarks of having been at least partially prepared by Tottenham Hotspur rather than SA Tourism: to give one example, it refers to Spurs’ base of London as “the most connected, culturally relevant and important city in the world”, which is a surprising claim to find on another country’s tourism documents.

Among the details added by the second presentation is that “+35” British members of Parliament are “self-described Tottenham Hotspur supporters”.

This latter presentation specifies that the exposure SA Tourism will receive will include stadium branding, match-day advertising, a 5-14 day training camp in South Africa with the full first Spurs team — as well as access to free tickets and stadium hospitality.

The £42.5-million deal would run from as soon as February 2023 to June 2026, with the option to extend for another year.

The presentation claims that in exchange for this R1-billion investment, SA Tourism will receive media exposure to the value of £277-million, or almost R6-billion.

In a Q&A portion of the presentation, it makes oblique reference to the fact that SA Tourism’s expenditure in this regard would amount to more than one-third of its total annual marketing budget.

By way of reassuring antsy board members, the presentation states:

“As entering into a sponsorship partnership with Tottenham Hotspur will likely result in a disproportional contribution (of more than 36%) towards the achievement of primary objective (21 million tourist arrivals), it would therefore be completely justifiable for SA Tourism spending [sic] a disproportional percentage of its annual marketing budget (36%) on the proposed Tottenham Hotspur partnership while having in place a risk management strategy to properly manage all risks associated with that.”

It adds:

“This can in no way be construed to [sic] a scenario of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’.”

Why the speed on this questionable deal?

The tourism expert consulted by Daily Maverick said that the claims made about the marketing value of the deal were “absolute, unmitigated bullshit”.

The expert said serious questions needed to be asked about why this stale deal was now apparently being pushed through with such speed.

Rolling blackouts — here are your options and what they are likely to cost you

This is a moment of extreme instability for SA’s tourism authorities. In addition to the likelihood that Sisulu will be removed from the tourism portfolio in the coming days, adverts are currently out for a permanent SA Tourism CEO, while the body’s CFO is also serving in an acting capacity.

Whoever wins the top permanent posts now faces the possibility of coming into their jobs with a major portion of their budget effectively tied up. This is at a time when South Africa’s tourism industry is still attempting to recover from the crippling effects of a pandemic which saw the sector’s contribution to GDP fall by an estimated 50%. DM

Update: A statement issued on Wednesday  by the Ministry of Tourism, through Steve Motale, stated as follows: 

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has noted a report by the Daily Maverick on Wednesday 1 February 2023 headlined: “From Lindiwe Sisulu, With Love: Inside SA Tourism’s R1bn proposal to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur”.

Sadly, this article is riddled with inaccuracies and untruths aimed at tarnishing Minister Sisulu’s image. There is no doubt the report seeks to drive a political agenda rather to inform the public truthfully in line with journalism ethos.

The reporter falsely claims that Minister Sisulu is forcing SA Tourism to push the deal through before she is moved from Tourism portfolio.

This is a blatant lie. This reported deal is purely an SAT board matter on which Minister Sisulu has not been formally briefed by the board.

Like any other board, the SAT board is independent and Minister Sisulu does not interfere with its decisions.

Proposals get received by SAT, and are processed by a project team, then are sent through to the executive committee before being presented to the SAT board.

In the various portfolios Minister Sisulu has served since the dawn of democracy, her contribution to government speaks for itself. Even Daily Maverick through it source indicates that this proposal dates back to 2017, of which Minister Sisulu held a different portfolio.

Essentially, the SAT proposal is to conclude a Memorandum of understanding ( MOU ) with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. It is non-binding. Such a proposal , must still pass muster within the Tourism Ministry and is subject to the concurrence of National Treasury , to conform to government prescripts.

With regard this matter Minister Sisulu is still awaiting for a report and to be briefed by SAT board as they are independent and take their own decisions on various matters. It is mischievous, to relate this to the imminent cabinet reshuffle.

Minister Sisulu is in consultation with her legal team and will communicate the way forward in due course. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Patrick O'Shea says:

    “access to free tickets and stadium hospitality.”
    Someone has this as the primary goal.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    ANC stands for”We love taxpayers money”sick

  • Heinrich Holt says:

    While our township children do not even have footballs to play with… this now gives a new meaning to clueless and out of touch.

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more…it should be the other way around – Spurs should be sponsoring the development of football for previously and currently disadvantaged kids in South Africa! These people have sunk to new lows in their efforts to steal from taxpayers….its “open season” now – no embarrassment just plain theft in the broad light of day!

      • John Child says:

        Well said! And I’m a Spurs fan. Top UK football clubs are extremely wealthy & pay ridiculously high salaries to their top players, who are treated like kings with chauffeurs, etc. The first team players itself could afford to sponsor hundreds, if not thousands, of disadvantaged children with school fees and grass soccer fields.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    They haven’t left planet earth, they’ve left a hole where they stealing tax payers money

  • COYS, the acronym for the tuneful chant of its supporters usually stands for “Come on you Spurs,” in this instance a little punctuation is advised:
    “C’mon! You? Spurs?!!!”
    Optional alternative: substitute Sisulu for Spurs.
    Bottom line: the stench of kickbacks permeates this story

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    This proposed deal is an outrageous waste of money, there are so many ways that it could be spent to effectively promote tourism and benefit the industry. How can this even be contemplated?

  • Bill Nash says:

    It is hard to believe that we could be contemplating a “deal” like this.
    As I write this comment we are facing water shortages in Johannesburg because of ongoing loadshedding for a month and we are at level 5 loadshedding (again).
    Durban and Cape Town beaches have sewerage issues and the economy is tottering (with businesses closing daily) as a result of ongoing loadshedding.
    As good as this deal may be…. Surely we have other priorities??
    This “deal” should go the way of the giant flagpole please!
    CR please give your team a reality pill!!!

    • Paul Kirk says:

      Beyond belief. The rot just gets worse every day. A feeding frenzy at a drying trough. Bring on 2024

    • patersonbridget says:

      This is just beyond words – Eskom increase, petrol increase, food astronomically high prices, crime on the increase, homeless on the increase (leading to further crime) Ethkwini a dirt bin with seweage on the “TOURISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEACHES and this assenine ANC wants to sponsor a flipping FOREIGN (think of zenophobia alive and well and living in SA) football team – for fuck’s sake what planet are they living on?????????????????????????

    • Marius McMichael says:

      Bill indeed and we have now reached the stage of “frenzied looting”, whereby by whatever means the various insider grifters seek to extract their “own/final marginal utility of looting”.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Madame Sisulu is preparing her pension.
    If this goes through and South Africans don’t go on to the streets, the country is lost.

  • Paul Botha says:

    My first take was, is it the 1st of April today. Does anybody have a clue what they are doing up there?

  • Laurence Erasmus says:

    International tourism is unlikely to flourish whilst the ANC continues to loot Eskom and plunge the country into Stage 6 load shedding which severely impacts the supply of water. Here on the lower South Coast of KZN, we are lucky to get water for a few hours every 14 days! No tourist wants to spend their hard earned currency in a location without power, water and raw sewerage floating in bathing beach water!

  • Warren Wilbraham says:

    I think this would be pretty easy to validate. Just check Rwanda’s tourism numbers. They have been sponsoring a much better team (😄) for longer.
    While I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing we just need to make sure that we are not overpaying. There are dedicated sports marketing bodies who can validate these numbers and see if we are getting value. And of course that the tourism returns are sensible.
    Needless to say R1b over 3 years does not go far in the rarified world of elite sports where some EPL athletes are paid up to R6m a week.

    • David Edwards says:

      Warren, in a normal world I would agree with you, but as Laurence points out above, every tourist that is enticed to visit and then subjected to load shedding, lack of water and dodging turds on the beach will influence 100 others to never visit. This money, and all SA Tourism’s budget for that matter, should be redirected at fixing infrastructure so that SA citizens get basic services and tourists get a positive experience from visits. A bigger problem is that the ANC cannot fix anything, they are masters at breaking and stealing (make that plundering).

  • Nina Nortje says:

    This is crazy! We have people living way below bread line, an economy crippled by load shedding – now this??
    This cannot be allowed to happen, this is tax payer funds that should be used for South African infrastructure – like roads !!

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Free tickets, junkets to the UK to swan around London to ‘observe their investment’, and quite possibly, given who’s involved, a spiteful attempt to scupper the Tourism Ministry before getting booted.

  • Armin Schrocker says:

    What a stupid idea, have they all gone mad !

    • Marius McMichael says:

      Not really, as this type of grifting behaviour is utterly consistent with everything that they touch, premised on the hard-wired approach of “I grift, therefore I am”. Service and delivery for “our people”? Sorry but that has been at the bottom of the queue with these grifters for many, many years.

  • Paul Hatty says:

    Another murdered tourist will certainly confirm the need for this expenditure. Especially if it is Spurs supporter.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    And she who would be president. God help us. A billion bucks will not fix SA horrendous reputation abroad. Sensible, transparent and people centre governance. Madam Lindi has taken ANC credibility to an all-time low. But, given the timing, maybe that was her intention!

    • Nancy Brindley says:

      Hmm! Now madam Sisulu says it’s a ploy to sully her name !!!! Ha ha ha ! Cyrillic get rid of these clowns, infact Voetsac all of you !

    • Nancy Brindley says:

      Hmm! Now madam Sisulu says it’s a ploy to sully her name !!!! Ha ha ha ! Cyrillic get rid of these clowns, infact Voetsac all of you !

  • Alley Cat says:

    My jaw literally dropped when I saw the headline, it is now on the floor having read the article. It is just beyond belief. As many above have said, as long as we have no electricity or water, people are not going to come here no matter who we sponsor! Also, I have read articles some time ago where SA representatives at tourism expos around the world have really poor stands and half the time the stands are not manned, because they are too lazy to pitch up. SHOCKING!!

  • Ashley Lattimer says:

    But today is Feb 1st – not April 1st (Fools Day) ?

  • Jenny Groenewald says:

    Between sponsorship of Spurs and lighting up Flagpoles I am now totally convinced that our “governing” party is smoking some very powerful stuff to get this delusional!

  • Allan Pike says:

    Of all the things we South Africans are desperate to have resolved, like security of power for hospitals, that Ms Sisulu considers financially supporting an English soccer team as the best contribution she can make to ease our collective pain leaves me absolutely gobsmacked!

  • Peter Watts says:

    This isn’t bullshit. It’s cowshit and demonstrates how little the ANC cares for the people of South Africa, and the vast majority of its own supporters. Self interest dominates every waking hour of every day and the ANC top dogs just keep feeding their pockets and massive misplaced egos at the expense of the masses and us taxpayers. Shame on them. This is as bad, or worse, than the recent giant flag stunt. What’s wrong with these parasites?

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    Now we have completely gone mad -I trust that this proposal will be stopped now that it is public. Daily Maverick please watch developments.

  • shannon Maxwell says:

    As if my jaw could drop even lower than it has over the state capture abominations of the last decade, this one really astounded me. WTF! The ANC should be desperately trying to focus on rehabilitating Eskom as a serious priority before it starts dishing out a billion for a football team sponsorship. You want more tourism? Get your country in order first, that would be the best advertisement you could afford. I am so outraged – is it too early for wine?

  • Andrew McWalter says:

    Just too stupid to be real. This can only be another RET booby-trap, aiming to inflict as much damage on the incoming Ramaphosa faction as possible.

  • Andrew Gunn says:

    Not surprised, a naive attempt to play in the premier league when the ANC haven’t scored a single goal. Although give them credit for countless own goals!

  • Ian McGill says:

    What sane tourist will come to this crime-ridden country with rolling blackouts, potholed roads and crumbling infrastructure? I used to recommend SA to my UK relatives, not anymore! R1 Billion? Get more police!

  • Johan Buys says:

    Red card this proposal! I’ll take a shot and say the real goal is the commission of over R200,000,000 that accrues to exactly who?

  • Peter Oosthuizen says:

    Nelson Bunker Hunt said it best ” a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money!”
    If anything shows the stupidity and lack of common sense of the ANC this is it! They really should realise that it’s not Monopoly money that they’re playing with – well not yet!

  • Alistair Dicks says:

    I wonder how much money is going into her pocket and that of her friends

  • Fathima Dada says:

    One of the kore ridiculous shenanigans of Sisulu. Disgraceful.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    It just shows how little control Ramaphosa has over his Cabinet. There is clearly no higher level authority or ethical policy coming from him.

    What we rather have is a gang of freelancers doing what they please and extracting as much as they can while the going is good using generous taxpayer funded budgets. With no consequences but rather arrogance and silence when found out.

    Huge kudos to DM for exposing this. With the media, imagine how much more grotesque the gouging would be?

  • Confucious Says says:

    One of the head idiots specializing in spending other people’s money with no possible return. What an anus horribilis!

  • Ashley Stone says:

    The thrashings of a deluded,out of touch “government”.
    Talk about an own goal…

  • Nicol Mentz says:

    I just swallowed the vomit in my mouth! How insensitive are these people?
    This is arrogance at an enhanced level.
    Shame on you ANC!

  • James Harrison says:

    This report is so bizarre that one’s initial reaction is that it must be fake news. Assuming that DM has its facts straight, I suggest that this story be blazoned in the media to properly expose the insanity of our benighted ANC government. Let this scandal contribute to their demise in next year’s election.

    • Nigel Cornfield says:

      I am an Engineer. When it was first mooted, I thought that establishing the Cape Town Waterfront was moronic. How wrong I was, and how unqualified I was to comment.
      Let’s get the considered reports of the experts, let’s look at the performance statistics of similar endeavors. Let’s consider the facts and them make up our minds.
      Some of the contributions above are reminiscent of the nuclear debates between “Greenie sandal makers” and nuclear physicists which were so popular in the 80’s.

      • Andrew Wallace says:

        One would have to be, to see any merit in this nonsense at a time when tens of thousands don’t have regular power or water and everything in the loo goes where it shouldn’t

      • Johan Buys says:

        Nigel, you were wrong about the waterfront and, going on a limb, you were also wrong about energy 🙂

      • Peter Oosthuizen says:

        Nigel – you’re an engineer (no capital letter required). By the time you’ve asked for the reports, and the “facts’ – it will be a “fait accompli’ and another billion will have biie p****d against the wall.

      • Warren Wilbraham says:

        Could not agree more with you Nigel. But it’s never easy to get a crowd, especially on online one, to behave in a rational and considered manner.

  • Rod Bulman says:

    This is what she thinks of Walter’s legacy?

  • James Francis says:

    Lindiwe Sisulu wants to be an aristocrat. She thinks she’s ANC royalty and that means she’s entitled to be treated as such, and she’s repeatedly tried to use state resources to do so. I challenge anyone speaking positively of the ANC’s ‘next generation’ that this is who they are talking about. Not a democrat but an elitist who wants to rule, not govern, and who will change sides with whoever if it suits her agenda.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Say WHAT now? Is this also known as Sisulu’s revenge? A eensy-teensy little attempt to yet again embarrass the big boss? She probably wouldn’t bother if it weren’t for the kick-back (pun intended). God help us! Would that the president get a move on shuffling the deckchairs – er – cabinet. Beyond mind blowing.

  • envirosense says:

    Can this human manifestation of arrogance, ignorance, grandeur and sheer incompetence please be reminded that our country needs right now the bare essentials to come by ? Things like having power so people can work and make enough money to buy food ? Sewage is running down streets and into oceans. I wonder what an electric currency providing clean, corruption and crime-free country could do to boost our tourism instead and REALLY benefit South Africans too…

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    I see Rwanda being blazoned on the Arsenal billboards
    I wonder what they pay Arsenal ?
    Arsenal are top of the league and Spurs are not and also a bit crap
    Tickets, Airfares all around to inspect the advertising.
    Fix the shit running onto the beaches, make people feel safe and the tourists will flock here.

  • Jason Stramrood says:

    Our beautiful country sells itself. Or it will do if it still has a product and brand to sell. Spend the money on infrastructure, security, policing and the local tourist industry and the tourists will keep coming. Sometimes I just can’t believe the stupidity, arrogance and greed of our governing party. That being said, I am sure our poor, hungry and uneducated people are going to love the free tickets and stadium hospitality.

  • Ann Bown says:

    I agree this is unmitigated bulls@#t. Harry Kane is transferring to MU for BP300 million ! They don’t need sponsorship…

  • Roslyn Cassidy says:

    Marketing SA as a tourist destination is important. But R1M is around £50k – peanuts to the LilyWhites, but a lot for SA.

  • Heather Darby says:

    A big fat pay off for someone I think, stinks like rotting potatoes.

  • friendleigh2 says:

    You could not make this up in a comic book!

  • Vivienne Mennell says:

    This is Alice in Wonderland stuff ………………..

  • Ginny Swart says:

    Unbelievable the lengths our cabinet ministers will go to score a couple of good ticket to those matches.

  • Riel Meynhardt says:

    Amongst members of the tourism industry, it is no secret that SA Tourism has been hollowed out to the point where it is not making any sensible contribution to bringing business to SA. When asked about the competence and commitment of the minister, senior staff just giggle and look away.

    The mad rush to try and push a deal through before being fired as minister and before the CEO and CFO replaced with permanent appointments, reek of corruption and the strategy is typical “State Capture” methodology.

    How long will tax payers tolerate this nonsense?

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    NO, NO, NO Lindewe. This is “absolute, unmitigated bullshit” to quote the expert.
    Have you no better causes where to spend our Tax Payers money?
    This money should be spent on the poorest of the poor – a pedestrian bridge, etc for people to get to shops and schools without risking their lives. But of course why should you care? Take your silver spoon out of your mouth and think of those less fortunate than yourself.

    I dispair for the people of South Africa having people like you to care for them

    • Gordon Bentley says:

      Sorry, Typo: Lindiwe.
      Does it really Matter? She will be out, redeployed to Siberia, if this incomprehensible project goes ahead.

      • Renn Moore says:

        Come on now George. Who in the party would begrudge a comrade a few rands for beer money? Compared to what other comrades have brazenly “acquired” this amount is hardly significant. As the late Ian Smith so correctly prophesied: “The people will be walking in sewage and think it normal!

  • Susan Dorrington says:

    A billion Rand could be used instead to buy solar panels for the poorer citizens of this country … or used to improve the supply clean water. And that’s just two things that come to mind.

  • Riette Fern says:

    Great work, Rebecca Davis! Please continue to dig deeper. One of the Executive Directors of Spurs is Donna-Maria Cullen, previously joint-MD of Chime Communications plc (remember Bell Pottinger?). Seeing any connections here with RET? Also, why would we want to pay £42.5m to a football club that is owned by a man residing mostly in the Bahamas on his £112m boat and who, according to the Forbes rich list, has an estimated fortune of a whopping £4.3bn (as quoted by The Sun, 15 Jan 2022)?

  • Tim Price says:

    Just when you think the #VoetsekANC cadres can sink no lower on an intellectual or moral level they surprise you with yet another breathtaking act of corruption and stupidity.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Let’s all send a query to the Club on press dot office at tottenhamhotspur dot com asking whether they are aware of this scam and suggest they look up what happened to the likes of Bell Pottinger and Bain after they got involved with corrupt South Africans. Send a link to this article with your email.

  • Rob Wilson says:

    Today is February 1, not April 1.

  • Sandra Amadio says:

    Apologies for the ignorant question, but am sincerely asking – exactly how does this benefit SA? Is what we getting in return SA tourism marketing value of R6 billion to a UK audience?

  • David C says:

    Apart from all the obvious comments about how ridiculous this is, it’s also necessary to highlight that £42.5m over 3 seasons (£14.2 per season) only covers the annual current salary of Harry Kane and half the annual salary of Heung-Min Son. Therefore, if this goes ahead, then the 60 million people of South Africa will be paying the wages of 1.5 UK-based football players. Let that sink in.

  • andrea96 says:

    I cannot believe this! Tourists like electricity and clean water. Spend the R1 billion on that. The anc is becoming more and more unhinged.

  • Robert Vickers says:

    Sponsor Blackburn Rovers instead!

  • Helen Swingler says:

    Atrocious. Tone deaf. Supporting a team in a coloniser country while your own country burns? And this while our women’s soccer, cricket, rugby and netball teams have to beg for money, even though they’re competitive at international levels. As other readers have pointed out, the work starts at home, Ms Sisulu.

  • R S says:

    Lots of more cost-efficient ways to market SA to the world… This screams cadre kickbacks.

  • Craig A says:

    R 1 Billion could give 27,400 families R 100 per day, for a year, to buy food. Or put thousands of kids through university. Or pay for medicine for thousands of people……….
    This woman is insane and needs to be institutionalized. What a disgrace.

  • John Smythe says:

    I’m speechless…. which isn’t often the case.

  • Neels de Jager says:

    This is crazy. They live on a different planet.

  • Gregory Scott says:

    I suggest that this one billion rand be used to maintain our electricity and water infrastructure for South Africans rather than wasting money on advertising South Africa

  • virginia crawford says:

    In a sea of chaos, corruption and venality an idea like this pops up and it is insane. Perhaps Peter Hain and the UK press can publicize this shameful deal: Tottenham in receipt of stolen money. Because it is – is this what tax payers want done with their money?

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Well, the curt response from the esteemed Ministry says a lot. I too await the next communication based on the Princesses’ legal consultation! 🙂

  • Shaun Kellermann says:


  • hfowle says:

    Has this woman completely lost her marbles.
    If you are going to sponsor a team, please give it to my team, Liverpool. They certainly need it more.
    This cANCer just sinks lower and lower.
    And Squirrel is running a circus full of clowns.
    More corruption coming up.
    This makes just as much sense as that frigging flag pole.
    Sorry about the garbled comments.
    I am totally flabbergasted.

  • Petrus Kleinhans says:

    Who are the marketing consultants responsible for providing the minister with such idiotic advice? I’m sure Daily Maverick can find out who these clowns are. The excesses being perpetrated as a matter of course during ANC governance business-as-usual defies belief. A billion rand should deliver a minimum between 250,000 and 500,000 bookings in an online campaign for South African tourism businesses. I would wager that this sponsorship campaign will not deliver 20,000 bookings. It is a travesty. But then, we are living through a travesty every day in ANC South Africa. I wait with interest to see if South African voters are willing to set things right and choose a better future. Or will we choose to keep stumbling around in this kind of pathetic misery? What is the freedom worth that the ANC fought for when they squander the opportunities it presented?

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    At the beginning of this week, the whole of Gauteng not only experienced the electricity load shedding but water shedding. To many of us not used to this new phenomenon of water shedding, it came as a shock. One wondered whether the ANC government is determined to take the country to the stone age. What ordinary citizens experience going to work with robots not working and no traffic officers to direct traffic on busy roads and intersections is something that is very frustrating both in the morning and afternoon peak hours. You then hear about money to sponsor a British sports club let alone a donation to Cuba in the midst of an electricity crisis that has a huge impact on all the facets of our lives.
    The money can be used to buy generators for sewage pumps and water pumps. It can be used to get solar panels for robots. Let alone about our sports bodies that are struggling from cricket that had to cancel its one day schedule in Australia with consequences for the World Cup to focus on SAT20. You have our Davis Cup team with no budget at all but bravery to represent this country. You have our women’s cricket team that is struggling for finance let alone soccer development. When we have donkeys running a country you get these people with warped priorities. We have children in KZN and Eastern Cape crossing dangerous rivers without bridges but you have clowns with tax money to spend to be in the box of an English rich team. They deserve to be kicked out!

  • Peter Mason says:

    Feckless, self serving and greedy. Impress your mates in the TH hospitality for just R1bn of SA taxpayers’ money – cheap at the price. The TH management must be laughing! Thank goodness for DM!!

  • Peter Mason says:

    Feckless, self serving and greedy. Impress your mates in the TH hospitality for just R1bn of SA taxpayers’ money – cheap at the price. The TH management must be laughing! Thank goodness for DM!!

  • Michael Bellis says:

    Remember the Hitachi success fee? Health minister and his Digital Vibes support group?
    Forget about Spurs or SA Tourism, follow the money flow and you will find the usual suspects rubbing their hands.

  • psdayah4 says:

    Fix the electricity, fix the water problem, fix the massive crime issue, fix the sewage problem, support local, spend for advertising in tourism where there is prospect of good returns. Stop blowing good money up the donkey’s backside . Remove the useless from leadership. Use their track record as well as a guide. Get advice from countries that are doing well.

  • Geoff Woodruff says:

    Lindiwe Sisulu is our very own version of Marie Antoinette when it comes to our country’s needs.
    “Let them eat cake.”

    • Craig A says:

      If only she ended up in the same position as Marie! As well as the rest of the corrupt government. Perhaps the time is coming, when the masses rise up and it is total anarchy.

  • Alan Collier says:

    So they think that they ‘have ‘ to spend the money or it will go back to Treasury. I’ve got news for you – this isn’t even Treasury’s money. It is borrowed money from Treasury Bonds raised in the International Markets. Use it to help pay back South Africa’s Debt.

  • Rory Short says:

    What an absurd and out of touch with South African reality idea.

  • Ian Schofield Schofield says:

    What about the acting CFO(Cto?) ‘s connections to the facility agency who will receive + – 1.5 million pounds??

  • Herman Hintzen says:

    “In the various portfolios Minister Sisulu has served since the dawn of democracy, her contribution to government speaks for itself”
    Didn’t she write this letter denying democracy?
    Also I would like to see how far tourism is back on its feet already. Looking at Cape Town where literally all tourist accomodation is occupied at the moment, things seems to be back to normal. Better spend this money on preventing load shedding to keep the tourists who are here happy.

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