SA Tourism’s plan to sponsor English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur is facing criticism from citizens who argue that the more than 1 billion rand sponsorship deal is a waste of money, especially at a time when the country is facing an economic meltdown and grappling with issues like crime, electricity, water shortages, and unemployment.
The announcement by Tourism SA Acting CEO Themba Khumalo, who defended the deal saying that “money invested in tourism is not the same money that’s required for energy; it’s not the same amount of money that’s required for potholes,” has drawn widespread reactions from the public.
Many South Africans have taken to social media to voice their opinions, with some calling the decision “hilarious,” “bizarre and tone deaf,” and “something that will not solve the country’s problems.”
South Africa’s Tourism Sponsorship Deal for English Premier League Team Tottenham Hotspur Draws Controversy
One user wrote, “South Africa govt through SA tourism wants to spend R910,997,814.75 to sponsor English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur just because Rwanda & Malawi did it & SA want to did it too while South Africans don’t have Jobs, Water, Electricity, NSFAS is rejecting students.” Another added, “Someone teach Themba Khumalo that no matter how many billions he spends on football clubs, it only takes 1 tourist to be hijacked and killed to lose 5 billion more. Rid the country of crime, loadshedding, water shortages and they will come.”
The controversy around the sponsorship deal highlights the importance of balancing the needs of different sectors and investing in initiatives that will have the greatest impact on the country and its citizens. It remains to be seen how the government and Tourism SA will respond to the criticisms and what the future holds for the sponsorship deal.