OPINION | Thebe Ikalafeng’s take on SA Tourism Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal

R1 billion to partner with Tottenham Hotspur? Almost the total marketing and operations budget of SA Tourism. What an irresponsible consideration of taxpayer funds. We’re already a well-known and leading destination in Africa.

Triumph over apartheid, Nelson Mandela, Rugby World Cup 1995 and R50bn investment in FIFA 2020 South Africa did a better job for raising visibility and credibility of brand SA and making SA no. 1 tourism destination in Africa.

We don’t need visibility or a reminder of the destination. Rather we need to invest in safety for travelers, consistent electricity, upkeep of infrastructure and digital innovation across all services. This is just a ‘’me too” strategy that Rwanda did well with Arsenal for $25m, Mauritius with Liverpool for £2m and Malawi with Leganes in Spain last week for $0.

We used to be THE leading and not copycat or follower nation in Africa. A R1bn for a premiership team that’s not even won league or anything substantial in 30 yrs? The implied parallels with the state of our nation leave no imagination.

It’s a vanity investment that shows we’re now truly out of touch with the reality of SAns battling crime, unemployment, inequality and under-education. Mxm. Let’s hope this is a mischievous political, media or other stunt. Not a reality. Irrespective, if it’s even in anyone’s consciousness, these are my views as a (hopefully) informed and concerned South African.

Writes Thebe Ikalafeng

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