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SA Tourism interim CFO has ties to agency which could cash in on Tottenham Hotspur deal

SA Tourism interim CFO has ties to agency which could cash in on Tottenham Hotspur deal

SA Tourism’s interim Chief Financial Officer, Johan van der Walt, has admitted to having ties to an agency named in original documents relating to the controversial Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship proposal.

When acting SA Tourism CEO Themba Khumalo addressed the media on Thursday about the controversial R1-billion Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship proposal, he was adamant that “no agencies” were involved as middlemen in the deal.

Khumalo did not answer Daily Maverick’s subsequent enquiry, during the session’s Q&A, about whether this was accurate.

But in the initial PowerPoint presentation shown to the SA Tourism board, there are multiple references to an agency which will be used in “activating” the sponsorship — and which must be paid a £1.5-million (R31.3-million) upfront fee.

That agency is named as WWP Group.

Daily Maverick can reveal that SA Tourism’s interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Johan van der Walt, is a director of a number of companies linked to the WWP Group — and has admitted to doing work directly for the WWP Group in the past.

Van der Walt’s name is in the metadata of the initial PowerPoint presentation, revealing him as the author of the initial Spurs proposal presentation.

The agency named in documents as part of the Spurs deal

The SA Tourism PowerPoint presentation on the Spurs proposal, which is dated 27 January 2023, contains six separate references to an “agency” which is key to the implementation of the deal.

In the first reference, it states that Tottenham Hotspur “approached our agency WWP Group in an unsolicited bid for a sponsorship partnership”.

It proceeds to state that SA Tourism’s agency must be paid £1.5-million (R31.3-million) by 31 March 2023 to activate the deal:

“To ensure that all origination and preparatory work around this sponsorship is concluded in time so that the deal can be 100% activated on 1 July 2023, SA Tourism will brief its agency for Project Origination to the Rand equivalent of £1 500 000 in terms of which all deliverables associated with this project needs to be completed by 31 March 2023 and all costs associated with this to be paid by WWP Group to Tottenham Hotspurs [sic]”.

It adds that SA Tourism has “identified savings on its current year budget” to pay this fee.

In the next slide, the presentation reiterates that this payment must be made to the WWP Group, although it now states — for unclear reasons — that only 90% of the amount is payable upfront:

“90% of the Rand equivalent of £1 500 000 will be payable upfront so that [SA Tourism’s] agency can do relevant origination/activation payments to Tottenham”.

The WWP Group in question is a creative agency with headquarters in Lonehill, Johannesburg. Its website describes the company as “a young & dynamic strategic creative agency, founded on the core values of visual and experiential storytelling, meticulous planning and flawless execution”.

Among the work it advertises in its portfolio is the Jab4Tourism campaign which SA Tourism ran during the Covid-19 pandemic, calling on South Africans to get vaccinated to hasten the return of tourism to the country.

Its CEO is listed as Jermaine Tumelo Besten.

How SA Tourism’s interim CFO, Johan van der Walt, fits in

South African company records show that WWP Group CEO Besten shares business interests with SA Tourism CFO Johan van der Walt in a number of companies.

Besten and Van der Walt are both listed as active directors of a company called Enterstage Africa, while they are also both listed as members of a company called WWP Events.

Van der Walt is also listed as a director of a company called Witch and Wizard and a member of a company called WWP Studios.

All the companies mentioned above are legally registered to the same Lonehill address as that of SA Tourism’s agency, WWP Group.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

Van der Walt confirmed to Daily Maverick that he was indeed linked to the above companies, stating: “That is correct.”

Van der Walt only joined SA Tourism as interim CFO in January 2023, but previously served in the role on a permanent basis between 2001 and 2013.

He said in written responses to Daily Maverick that when he rejoined SA Tourism, “I completed the ‘Declaration of Interest’ form and ensured that it 100% correlates to the CIPC [government company index] records”.

“It is also important to point out that I am employed at SA Tourism as an interim CFO on a seven-month contract only.”

CFO admits doing past work with agency, denies financial benefit

Asked by Daily Maverick to confirm what the PowerPoint metadata reveals — that he was the creator of the document — Van der Walt responded: “I can confirm that my laptop was used and I contributed to all the presentations in respect of the proposed Tottenham Hotspur partnership.”

The CFO did not deny that the presentation states that an upfront fee of £1,500,000 is payable to the WWP Group, and admitted having undertaken work for the company in the past.

“I have no financial interest in WWP Group, but I have in the past done some consulting work for WWP Group from time to time — predominantly work of a tax nature,” Van der Walt stated.

“These have been duly declared to SA Tourism.”

He did not comment on the possible conflict of interest created by this situation.

Bad, bad Daily Maverick

Earlier on Thursday, SA Tourism’s acting CEO, Khumalo, lashed out angrily in his press briefing at both Daily Maverick’s reporting on the issue and the person responsible for leaking the presentations.

Suggesting that leaking the documents was “un-South African”, Khumalo proposed that the person responsible should be “isolated” when found.

Khumalo confirmed that the intention was still to press ahead with the R1-billion deal.

“Before we were rudely interrupted [by Daily Maverick’s reporting], we were in conversation,” Khumalo said.

After the Bell: Could SA Tourism’s sponsorship deal with Spurs actually work?

“We have had to halt that conversation so that we can have this conversation and get all our stakeholders back onside. Should we succeed in that respect, the conversation will then proceed.”

Khumalo repeatedly characterised the controversy over the proposal as a result of the fact that the sponsorship deal had been leaked to the public out of context, without disputing any of the major facts around it.

“This is simply a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up through dialogue,” Khumalo said. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Tim Parsons says:

    Clearly Rwanda’s sponsorship of a sleeve of Arsenal’s strip is the cause of this Govt pique. A complete waste of money, in the ever ongoing travesty of ANC Govt mismanaged finances, that should be spent on poverty, social services and service delivery, not vanity!

    • Eberhard Knapp says:

      Khumalo claims this will induce many more visitors (from UK only??) to visit SA.
      When I recently told my friends in Germany I was going to SA – all they knew was that recently a German tourist got shot + killed at Kruger’s Open Gate…
      So: best make available the 1 Billion to a private security company (WITHOUT ANC-connections!!) – to ensure the safety of foreign visitors to this beautiful country!!

    • Ilan Copelyn says:

      Has anyone noticed that there is a real wwp-group com (a big international sports branding agency) and a totally unrelated wwpgroup africa which claims to do the same thing (google them I can’t add links in this comment)

  • Barry Messenger says:

    Bingo…!

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Follow the money?

      • Marius McMichael says:

        As always, where none on these corrupt clowns/grifters seem to be incapable of ever doing any actual work, based on their objective “I grift, therefore I am”. Horrific but then again, they have been voted in by “our people” for six consecutive elections. Depressing but we all need to keep shining the sanitising light of transparency onto these dire grifters.

  • betsy Kee says:

    All that money to a foreign football team? Madness. When people are dying of starvation and our schools still have pit latrines. I despair!
    My 1994 cheerful optimism about our country slowly changed to a bleaker hope. And now even that is dead.

  • Paul Kirk says:

    Thank goodness for Daily Maverick. Please keep up the good work !!

    • Stef Viljoen Viljoen says:

      I think we should say “Thank goodness for journalism.”. It looks like journalism, the justice systems and NGO’s are the gatekeepers now. Apart from citizens off course that are keeping themselves informed.

  • Marilyn Small says:

    So much ‘dialogueing’ so much greed – doesn’t take a wizard to work it all out when DM exposes the facts as it, and some other reputable news sources frequently do !

    • Lindsey Kann says:

      How much research into the background of Spurs and the so-called WWP agency is actually available to us put there. But for heaven’s sake, use this money for SA Soccer development and other sports. Let’s get back to being a leading sports nation. Not waste it on a “no goodnick” English club. Enough pockets have been line and deepened. Let’s see some good out of this so called “sponsorship”

  • William Kelly says:

    Conflict of interest indeed. And un-South African? This is public money mate, the only un-South African one here is you – if this deal is legitimate it should have been ‘South Africanised’ in the press long before now.

  • Richard Baker says:

    Here we go again!

  • Johan Herholdt says:

    Thank you Daily Maverick for interrupting the conversation with this telling information. Please keep on interrupting.

  • Paul T says:

    Not so sure that “acting” and “interim” people should be signing off on such big deals. One could imagine how the Tottenham deal could gave been set up outside of SA Tourism and the CFO parachuted in to get the deal over the line.

  • Luan Sml says:

    Naughty Daily Maverick…. Keep it up!

  • Kerry van Schalkwyk says:

    The only benefit will be that ANC elites & their comrades will be lounging around in a private luxury hospitality suite drinking champagne & eating caviar. It is outrageous!

    • Dario Tanziani says:

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Paul T says:

      I agree that we need more balanced analysis, DM certainly has latched on to the price tag and emotional responses to the news of the deal. The premier league is the biggest league of the biggest sport in the world, there is a reason why billions are spent in sponsorship deals and footballers are paid so much. However the revelation of the CFOs involvement in marketing agency WWP with 1 letter different to the major multinational WPP, has only been there since January, sounds very suspect. Word on the street is there have been 3 board member resignations since the story broke, so all is not well.

  • Michael Walker says:

    Cha-ching.

  • Alley Cat says:

    No surprises here. What any reasonable person would have suspected.
    Suggesting that leaking the documents was “un-South African”, Khumalo proposed that the person responsible should be “isolated” when found. And when you get caught, victimise the whistle blower… Same playbook as always and absolutely no shame!

  • Easy Does It says:

    This clearly puts the whole deal in context:
    “ Khumalo repeatedly characterised the controversy over the proposal as a result of the fact that the sponsorship deal had been leaked to the public out of context, without disputing any of the major facts around it.”
    It smells very rotten.

  • Anyone remember SAA’s sponsorship of Angel Cabrera? Do a Google search 😢

  • Chris Crozier Crozier says:

    Doesn’t anyone else think that the poor standard of English, lax proofreading, and amateurish writing is entirely at odds with a billion Rand proposal? And all thrown together over a few weeks? And what’s that weird but about ‘you can have a 4th year at no extra cost but only if you want it’? The alarm bells are deafening.

    • Steve Stevens says:

      Chris, did you also spot the (rather obvious) similarity between WWP and WPP? WPP is a multinational communications and ad agency holding company. Branding 101 – due diligence when naming, particularly when organisations are in the same line of business. Or a case of subtle misrepresentation? Either way, this kind of schoolboy error speaks volumes about the credentials of the agency chosen for an undertaking of such immense importance to SA Tourism that they’re willing to squander billions on a vanity project.

      • Chris Crozier Crozier says:

        I did not, but I should also have noticed that this entire presentation consists of just 8 slides. 8 slides and a blunt ask of GBP 1.5 million: nice round number, no workings to support it, and the remark about spend it or lose it to Treasury by the end of March. It looks very like “let’s soak up the unspent budget before year end” rather than a properly costed proposal.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    I listened to Khumalo on SAFM yesterday, and he’s obviously hoping acting will become permanent. The notion of misunderstanding rhetoric is concerning, and an easy out for interim and acting employees and the department. The question: who is this good for? Remains unanswered, and it’s a billion rand question. Surely the minister can’t just wash her hands of it and say, “nothing to do with me; before my time – they are an autonomous bunch”? If dithering Cyril was looking for a decent reason to get rid, DM just handed him one. But our consternation is ripe and reasonable: how can we be spending a billion on marketing soccer when there are shacks surrounding our stadia? Come on ANC. Viva, poverty, Viva.

  • James Clayton says:

    Nice reporting.
    « Un South African » ? When someone acts honestly and with integrity? That’s hilarious. I’ll bet that term gets rapidly integrated into the lingua franca though.

    • John Smythe says:

      Gosh! Didn’t you know that in the ANC’s and their cohort’s eyes that being “Un-South African” means you’re being too honest. Get with the program and be more South African. It’ll make you rich on the backs of the poor.

  • Bill Nash says:

    Spending R1b of taxpayers money on a rediculous scheme like this displays lack of awareness of the situation in this country, or supreme arrogance.
    “This is simply a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up through dialogue,” Khumalo said.
    This statement simply does not cut it when talking about a sum of this magnitude!
    Do better!!!!

  • Petrus Kleinhans says:

    It was obvious there would be an “agency” behind this idiocy who would cash in. The amount of money specified in the fee is so ridiculous for the work involved that it is another indication pointing to SA as a banana republic with many shady characters suckling on her like parasites.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Khumalo’s focus on the whistleblower is telling us a lot. Unfortunately, instead of becoming heroes, South Africa treats its whistleblowers like outcasts.

    • shannon Maxwell says:

      That’s for sure. Visions of Babita Deokaran, Andre de Ruyter, being taken out, or attempted to have been taken out. I hope the whistle blower’s identity is never discovered in this case as it might just save us a billion rands in the long run… IF this deal does not see the light of day.

  • John Forbes says:

    Ignoring for the moment the lack of any logical connection between (Tottenham Hot)Spurs and South Africa, and the total waste of money that could be far better spent directly boosting tourism, no team, other than a South African sports team, should be allowed to wear the South African flag on their sleeve.

    It is belittling and denigrating of our flag for it to be (proudly?) worn by non-South Africans. Commercialism of our country’s symbols is totally unacceptable.

  • John Pearse says:

    As part of the Tourism Industry, it is clear that we were never consulted with regard to this profligate spending and poorly conceived plan. The UK is our biggest market, well services and soccer hooligans are clearly not our target market. Clearly another deployed Director General feathering his nest and probably helping with the pension arrangements of a departing minister

  • Johan Buys says:

    What bets there are far larger fees in the total package? Agencies don’t charge 0.3% on anything. 30% is more of the norm. Spurs’ PR department has still not responded to a warning they see what happened to Bain and Bell Pottinger.

  • harmonyplace says:

    Please pull the handbrakes on this one before the lights go off again. We seem to have lost touch with our everyday reality? While the option of declaring a National Disaster is being discussed we seem to have lost track of our priorities and the need to coordinate resources and actions in this time of crisis. The one hand claims not to have sufficient funds to alleviate our problems while the other has more than enough to throw around. We must pull together and act as one before it is too late.

  • Dhasagan Pillay says:

    I am deeply saddened by the comments that we should further isolate and deride whistleblowers as pariahs. It can only contribute further reputational damage to the RSA brand at a time when we are desperately trying to credibly stand up and prove that our democracy is full, robust and resillient rather than flawed (as per the 2022 Democracy Index).

  • Tim Knapp says:

    Can DM provide facts on how effective the visit Rwanda campaign has been? Seems to be a lot of jumping to conclusions that this is a bad investment. It certainly is a lot of money but that doesn’t mean it is (or isn’t) a bad investment. Would be helpful to examine both sides of the case thoroughly.

    • Wayne Harris says:

      I do not believe that is the point here Tim. The timing, secrecy & absolute sheer arrogance is what is most shocking. As a government, we often hear of the beast of colonialism & clearly they support a socialist/communist ideology. How on earth does sponsoring a UK based football team make any sense unless there is a clear benefit to certain individuals? Bugger all to do with tourism, promise!

    • Johann van Breda says:

      A better spend would be to improve the tourism sector in SA. Read Ivo Vegter’s article in Daily Friend.
      Money could be used to sort out the licensing of tour operator mess at the Dept of Transport, training of our Immigration and Customs officials to at least act and look more welcoming to tourists, etc.

    • shannon Maxwell says:

      I listened to John Maytham on Cape Talk yesterday who was considering both sides of the story. He was attempting to speak to the tourism depart in Rwanda today to establish just how effective their sponsorship turned out to be. In any event, even if it IS a good strategy and we are going to get an additional 88 billion in revenue (never going to happen) I equate this ridiculous idea to someone who is broke, unable to pay their credit card or mortage but decides it’s a good idea to recorate their house with money they cannot afford to waste.

    • mike muller says:

      Tim, this is about promoting the brand of Rwanda as a trusted partner for European investors in what is, to say the least, a contested region of East and Central Africa. The gorillas sell themselves. The guerillas in the region require more careful reputation management.

    • Dee Bee says:

      I could only find World Bank data, which only has numbers for Rwanda up to 2019. Their sponsorship of Arsenal started in 2018 and tourist arrivals stood at 1.71 million for that year. The year after their sponsorship started, numbers dropped by 4.5% to 1.63 million. Rwanda also has a sponsorship deal with PSG, signed in 2019.

      Rwanda’s own Statistical Yearbook, published in 2021, has a comparison for 2018 and 2019: arrivals from Europe rose from 77,767 in 2018 to 85,152 in 2019 before falling off in 2020 (Covid). Arrivals from Asia (the other key target market according to Khumalo) rose from 47,953 in 2018 to 49,645 in 2019, for a net gain of 9,000 tourists at a cost of roughly £20 million or £2,222 per visitor (assuming all increases are directly linked to the spend with Arsenal and PSG).

    • Johan Buys says:

      Tim, I had a look. Covid messes with all tourism stats so can only really compare 2017 2018 to 2019.

      In 2017 Rwanda had 1.5m visitors and 84% were from Africa. Their €35m deal started in mid 2018. In 2018 Rwanda had 1.6m overnight inbound visitors of which 86% were from Africa. In 2019 Rwanda had 1.5m visitors and still 86% from Africa. So no increase and also no change in mix. In most opinions the Rwanda thing was entirely driven by their president being a rabid Aresenal fan.

    • Jeremy Doveton-Helps says:

      That is not the point Tim – it is not the DM’s duty to provide such motivation. The poorly-written and cack-handedly unprofessional ‘proposal’ document is bound to do that job. Having specialised in marketing – and raised many sponsorships – over the past 30 years, I can honestly say that, for a deal of this size, it’s motivation document is little more than a bad joke (or perhaps the sloppy half-effort of an agency who is already assured of the deal being done?)
      Where is the demographic analysis of the ‘Spurs fan’? Where the breakdown of international EPL (and specifically Spurs’) match viewing figures for the past 3 seasons?
      What is the average household income of the mythical Spurs consumer creature? Do they take holidays? And, if so, are these to international/long-haul destinations? How many times per year? How long do they tend to stay for… and what is their average spend whilst there?
      And yes, where is the case study of Rwanda’s resounding success as Arsenal and PSG sponsor? That’s the Rwanda who have spent a lot more money, for precious little measurable ROI, it would seem!

      All of the above would be the most basic essentials in even a semi-professional sponsorship proposal.

      The whole thing smells worse than Hugo Lloris’ performance in the recent North London Derby!

  • Craig Cauvin says:

    Great job DM – keep digging – there’s a ton more excrement buried in this one – it smells worse than a dead snoek laying in the Cape Town sun for 3 days (with reverent apologies to the dearly departed mackerel)
    That’s a first minute red card for you Khumalo – Off…

  • Muriel Hau Yoon says:

    Good, good Daily Maverick! This earth shattering expose more than justifies my paltry monthly contribution to your coffers. It is thanks to courageous whistleblowers and independent media like yourselves that corruption can be stymied.

  • Reg Bray says:

    Follow the money trail… like all good forensic auditors. If there is foul play, the money will ‘speak’…

  • Patrick Devine says:

    No cadre, does anything at all, that can’t be tied back to self or cadre crony enrichment.

    Cadre select projects based on what they can leech – never what the country needs

  • Patterson Alan John says:

    What a disgusting proposal.
    President Rama-pause-a will not press the red button on this one and remain sitting on his hands.
    South Africa welcomes tourists to enjoy extended load shedding, nil public transport, beaches closed due to sewerage pollution and other fascinating stories to take home and share with your friends.
    Perhaps Spurs should visit SA to see how this money could be well-spent in SA.
    It is shocking that Spurs would milk the poor of money that is desperately needed here.
    Perhaps a few photos of poverty sent to the UK newspapers and mention of this deal, will raise an uproar. Surely Baron Peter Hain would be pleased to add his voice to this outrage?

  • Paul Zille says:

    A capture operation, nipped in the bud (we hope). Thank you and congratulations DM.

    When Mr Khumalo reignites his conversation with his ‘stakeholders’, plse can he make sure the list of people consulted goes beyond government and includes people and businesses that actually work in the SA tourism economy, as represented through the various tourism business associations? They might just have experience in this area and one or two ideas as to how to promote our tourist product effectively.

  • Elize Viviers says:

    Bravo Rebecca and Daily Maverick! Great journalism!!

  • Henri Schomper says:

    Shouldn’t the government relook the budgets given to certain entities? The money is not going where it benefits the population, especially the poor. allocations of budgets need to be re-addressed.
    These kind of harebrained ideas keep food off the tables, sewage on the streets and on the beaches, potholes in the roads and off course the lights off.
    How can ordinary citizens have access and a say in how tax money is spent. It cannot only be by voting.
    This government needs child minders to hold their hands and help them make proper and grown-up decisions as they seem to reason and “recon” like 5-year olds.
    I’ll put my hand up to check the books. They don’t even have to pay me.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    I’m guessing that CEO Khumalo doesn’t see the absurdity in his “bad Daily Maverick” criticism. Really, how could you have the temerity to question a dodgy deal? It seems the entitlement concept has expanded to include corruption. It becomes more difficult by the day to retain any sense of optimism that the situation may get better. Fasten your seat belts for the opportunities in declaring a state of disaster around loadshedding. The ANC is the real state of disaster.

  • Dee Bee says:

    Everything about this deal stinks! Khumalo was interviewed on 702 yesterday and said that the EPL has over ‘600 million registered viewers’, with half of those in China and a quarter in India. He then said that “if we can just get 1% of that number to visit South Africa, that’s an extra 6 million tourists a year” (I’m paraphrasing), as if seeing a small logo on a sleeve is a silver bullet to bring in millions of tourists: “Ooh look! ‘Visit South Africa on Harry’s shirt! Let me run straight to the travel agent!” The number of times I’ve heard people say that about almost every product sold in China, and yet I’ve seen a SA company get that magical, mythical 1% that would turbocharge our economy. Where is the business plan?

    Must admit I’ve never looked at the hugely prominent logos for sports betting sites, beer and cars displayed and felt a deep desire (or any desire) to rush off and purchase them. He then also hauled out stats that between the UK and US markets, tourists spend R80bn a year in SA – I’m willing to bet that large numbers of those ‘tourists’ are expats visiting family and friends, not people watching football as a travel show. And now, the interim CFO has ties to the mob who will get R33m for ‘activating the deal’ when he expressly said there were no outside parties involved. And then threats to the whistleblower. And then bombastic drivel about patriotism and budgets for potholes. This makes the flag con job look like a picnic.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Wow! In 2021 we had 320,000 overnight inbound visitors from EU, UK and all of the Americas. So UK and US far far less than 320,000 but lets be kind to the gentleman and call it 320,000. That means they spend R250,000 per person in SA. Remember a chunk of the stats are business visitors and visiting former South Africans that don’t do the R7000 pppd game lodges. This CEO is in a hole, and all he has with him is a shovel.

  • What exactly prevents Spurs from approaching SA Tourism or vice versa? What work does the agency have to do to earn its cut? The deal is three words on a sleeve for three years, how difficult is that? How is the agency commission to be divvied up? This is public money being frittered away at a time when generators at Eskom are standing idle for want of funds to buy fuel. Will Spurs supporters be likely to tour the heart of darkness in SA? So many questions …

  • Confucious Says says:

    AMG!!! What a surprise….. said absolutely nobody! Ever!

  • John Smythe says:

    It would be interesting to know if these “no” agencies like WWP and Khumalo and Johan “I’ve declared conflict of interest so I’m absolved” van der Walt are involved in the Ugandan and other African country’s sponsorship of UK filthy rich football clubs.

  • Dee Bee says:

    A quick look at World Bank Tourism arrival stats is quite revealing. We hosted a World Cup in 2010 (a damned good one, too), which effectively gave us four years of global, saturated coverage in the build up to the event. Surely this would have seen SA shoot the lights out in terms of tourist arrivals over that period and following it? What the data shows is that in 2007 and 2008 (the years after Germany 2006 and the first years of focus on SA as the next host), our tourist numbers grew by an average of 6.9% – but dropped by 2% in 2009 – as the focus grew on SA. 2010 obviously sees a surge as the World Cup takes place, up 18.6% over 2009, followed by strong growth to 2013, averaging 8.2% a year growth. From 2014 onwards, however, it falls off a cliff, averaging only 0.6% growth a year in total numbers to 2021.

    Now, contrast this with figures from the rest of Southern and East Africa, as our immediate regional competitors and with no global sporting events as profile pushers: averaged 6% growth from 2007 to 2010, so slightly below our level, but far higher if the World Cup year itself is excluded; 4.3% from 2011 to 2013, so well below our levels, but averaged 3.8% a year from 2014 to 2021 – when we could barely get into positive numbers. So how will sponsoring Spurs for 3 years make a material difference if the World Cup legacy was so short lived? Or will we have to sponsor them forever to keep that visibility? It’s not making sense to me!

  • John Smythe says:

    Ag! Just let these sad people keep digging their graves and providing the opposition with more and more ammunition for 2024. Bye bye! ANC! Bye bye!

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Perhaps, like Rwanda, there is an asylum seekers deal on the horizon as well? Maybe the UK is also planning to send their Great Unwanted further south to our sunny shores as part of this hugely benficial deal?

  • nickha says:

    I am at loss for words! It is argued that this sponsership falls within the mandate of the Dept of Tourism. I think however that the priorities are screwed up. I can think of a number of priorities that will have I direct/indirect influence on Tourism What about cleaning up our beaches and the prevention of sewerage affluent being discharged into the sea, rivers and dams, cleaning of streets in cities and towns where refuse is visible for all to see not forgetting the health hazard this poses for tourists and residents alike, crime that targets international visitors and locals equally, etc. Re-prioritising of this R1b to these areas of concern and others will make much more sense and in the long run have the affect to lure international travelers to SA.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    YES, YES, YES, Lindiwe, I told you so in my last comment. Our investigive Journalists will get you and your crooked cahorts’, remember? Well done DM. Carry on.
    Siberia is the only place for you and your cahorts to hide!

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    Typo: “Cohorts”

  • virginia crawford says:

    Is anyone surprised? The millions spent on the 2010 World Cup was meant to showcase S.A. to tourists: hasn’t this worked? Anyway, the best place on earth wouldn’t be a holuday choice if there electricity or water were unavailable or intermittent.

  • Malcolm Kent says:

    Why are we not surprised? Let’s say 100K people see ‘visit S.A.’ strip & think “Oh that’s an idea” what will they do? A little Google research will tell them – 6-10 hours rolling balckouts per day; sewage on some beaches; dubious water supply; massive unemployment so people turn to every scam imaginable to survive (so good chance of being hi-jacked or robbed) et al. How many will come? This is the most ludicrous, insensitive, hair brained plan ever. Then some idiot spokesperson on the radio says “People don’t understand – this isn’t about football.” How can a R1B rand investment in a football club not be about football? This government lives in cloud cuckoo land & is totally inured to the country’s dire situation.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    “This is simply a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up through dialogue,” Khumalo said.
    Perhaps had SAT been upfront and honest with taxpayers the “misunderstanding” would not have cropped up in the first place Mr Khumalo. By the way conducting a witch hunt for the person who leaked the information shows the same lack of maturity as this deal. sincerely hope that the President does Not use this in his SONA address when one considers the state of this Nation which has crumbled under the watch of the ANC and their various bodies which now includes SAT.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Who is Van Der Walt’s BEE ‘partner’ in the WWP Group? That would be interesting to see!

  • R1 billion could fix a lot of potholes, trains, pit toilets, boreholes etc. etc.
    If SA Tourism so desperately needs to sponsor a football team what about our locals? What a ludicrous waste of our hard-earned tax money.

  • Andrew Blaine says:

    In 1994 I attended a meeting at the Durban ICC on the future of tourism in the country.
    After the main meeting a number of workshops were held. As a rural dweller, I chose to attend the appropriate workshop.
    Opening the workshop, the presenter reported that, in future, there would be no Government support for “white” tourism operations of any type.
    I pointed out that rural tourism at the time was almost completely white owned and financed. I then asked if a cooperative approach, where existing operators were encouraged to assist and support indigenous operations, would not be more effective and efficient.
    My suggestion was dismissed with disdain.
    It seems nothing has changed except that the recipients of support will now include “white” foreign owned entities! How spectacularly illogical!!!

  • Cally Heal says:

    And what happens if Harry Kane gets ‘poached’ and moves to another team ? Isn’t that likely in the world if soccer?

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      You got it wrong … they were thinking of Harry of ‘royalty’ fame … like the Sisulu of SA royalty fame !!

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      When I first saw the news of a ‘deal’ with Spurs … I thought great … at least South Africans will get a free burger for their bang !!! Instead it turns out to be a second rate (maybe third rate ?) English soccer team . What a dismal let down … but then why are we surprised by this continued ANC extravagance and bloody mindedness !

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      About that so called ‘unspent’ money … it won’t be ‘lost’ but returned to the SA fiscus via treasury ! Don’t buy that malarkey about ‘waste’ ! At least we won’t fatten the imperialist goose … and its acolytes here !

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