DA submits PAIA application on Tottenham deal

Issued by Manny de Freitas MP – DA Shadow Minister of Tourism
06 Feb 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Manny de Freitas MP.

The DA will be submitting a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for all documentation pertaining to the proposed South Africa Tourism (SAT) R1 billion Tottenham Hotspur deal.

In particular we seek documentation that shows that South Africa and tourism would benefit from this deal. This is particularly important considering that the SAT press conference created more confusion and additional questions than answers.

In the last few days, three members of the SAT board have resigned directly because of this deal. Additionally, there appears to have been no competitive bidding process, which makes this whole matter irregular.

It is vital that this information be obtained as soon as possible, particularly considering that President Ramaphosa’s spokesman has publicly announced that the President does not support this deal. However, sources reveal to the DA that this deal was to be included in the SONA speech by Ramaphosa this week. Ramaphosa must thus come out unequivocally against this deal.

Throughout this controversy, Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu has been deafeningly silent on this issue. Although this is not out of character for Sisulu, as political principle of this portfolio, she should have pronounced and clarified this matter publicly.

Our research reveals that “some board members” of SAT, as well as the South African High Commissioner in the UK, had already been at the stadium to assess and verify the “feasibility of this proposed venture” to be a “tier one partner of this football brand.” Our PAIA application should clarify these allegations.

While local tourism enterprises receive no support to mitigate the on-going loadshedding and its impact on tourism, the SAT saw it fit to spend this exorbitant amount on a foreign football club with no assurance that tourism in South Africa would benefit from this.

I will not let this matter be swept under the carpet. All information pertaining to this matter must be made public so that there is clarity on this matter and if indeed taxpayers money is being wasted on a scheme which appears to show signs of potential corruption.