South African Tourism Board Approves Conditional Sponsorship for Tottenham Hotspur Amid Energy Crisis

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SUMMARY – SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM APPROVES SPONSORSHIP FOR TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR AMID ENERGY CRISIS, AIMING TO BOOST TOURIST ARRIVALS. POWER BLACKOUTS RAISE CONCERNS OVER FOOD SECURITY AND ECONOMIC IMPACT, PROMPTING NATIONAL DISASTER CONSIDERATION.

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The South African government’s tourism board, South African Tourism (SAT), has conditionally approved plans to sponsor English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in the midst of an energy crisis, according to a statement released on Thursday. The sponsorship deal, which is still pending finalization, is expected to amount to approximately $58 million (R1 billion).

SAT’s CEO, Themba Khumalo, stresses the need for a fresh strategy, stating, “We cannot continue with business as usual as it won’t yield desired results. Hence, we are considering a significant partnership with Tottenham Hotspur FC to truly shift the dial in our tourist arrivals.”

Khumalo acknowledges the premature information leak, saying, “It’s unfortunate that details of the partnership surfaced early. We obtained conditional South African Tourism Board approval on January 31st. Now, we need to consult our tourism sector stakeholders and national treasury before finalizing anything.”

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READ: South Africa’s Tourism Board to be Dissolved by New Minister Amid Controversies

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SAT Supporting the Sponsorship

In defense of the controversial sponsorship, South African Tourism Board highlights the government’s goal of achieving 21 million international tourist arrivals by 2030.

During a press conference, Khumalo clarifies, “This isn’t solely about football. We aim to engage the British Premier League audience to encourage them to travel to South Africa, spend various currencies in our destination, and restore dignity to our people.”

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Tottenham Hotspur has chosen not to comment on the sponsorship deal at this stage.

A Looming National Disaster

South Africa’s ongoing power blackouts, known as loadshedding, have prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to consider declaring a national disaster, similar to the one in 2020 during the height of the Covid pandemic, which had a devastating effect on the country’s economy.

The escalating power outages not only pose a serious threat to South African Tourism but also to South Africa’s food security, driving up prices and placing additional strain on household budgets.

 

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