R1bn Tottenham Hotspur deal not budgeted for – De Lille

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has cleared the air on the controversial R1-billion deal between SA Tourism and English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

The sponsorship deal sparked a debate and drew a backlash many South Africans who felt that the money can be used to solve one of the country’s many challenges. 

The deal was eventually blocked by the Presidency, which concluded that spending that huge amount of money was not justifiable.

During a media briefing at GCIS [Government Communication and Information System] offices in Hatfield, Pretoria on Friday, De Lille stated that the SA Tourism board should not go ahead with the deal, saying it does not comply with section 217 of the constitution.

“It appears that the sponsorship is a service which was proposed to be acquired by procurement through ‘sole source’,” she said.

“Sole-source procurement is, however, only allowed where there is no competition in the market and only one supplier is able to provide goods or services, which does not appear to be the case here.

“The sponsorship has not been budgeted for as required by section 53 of the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA], and that the expenditure thereon would be irregular or unauthorised within the meaning of those terms in the PFMA.

“That the deal amounts to a ‘significant partnership transaction’ which required my prior approval in terms of section 54[2] of the PFMA.”

The marketing and sponsorship deal with the English Premier League outfit was approved by former minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

De Lille emphasised that the country is under difficult economical constraints and urged that there be careful consideration and that money be spent wisely.

Following a written letter to the SA Tourism Board, the minister confirmed that she has since received an interim response.

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