Cape Town – Union federation Cosatu has added its voice to growing calls for the government to scrap the proposed SA Tourism deal to sponsor the elite English soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur.
Details of the R900m three-year contract were first reported by Daily Maverick this week.
Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said the amount was equal to a third of the budget allocated by the government to the tourism sector, in a country where tourism operators were struggling to recover from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a misguided vanity project that will contribute nothing to fixing the ailing tourism industry, which has not only suffered from Covid-19 but is also sabotaged by electricity cuts and high crime levels,” said Pamla.
He said the proposal came in the wake of a “ludicrous and absurd” plan to blow R22 million on a 100m flag monument project.
“Throwing money that we don’t have at a problem will only sink this country deeper into an abyss,” said Pamla.
“It’s a fact that the government is becoming less and less able to meet its tax obligations and resorted to dangerous levels of inflationary borrowing instead.”
Throwing borrowed money at “futile” ideas while cutting state institutions’ budget allocation was pointless.
He said the government wanted to sponsor rich European teams yet continued to deny public servants wage hikes.
Cosatu urged the Presidency, Treasury and the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation departments to intervene.
Meanwhile, News24 reported that the sponsorship proposal has to be settled before the imminent cabinet reshuffle.
– Edited by M. Zondi