The Portfolio Committee on Tourism has questioned deals between the Department of Tourism with comedian and former Daily Show host Trevor Noah and rugby player Siya Kolisi.
The Committee received a briefing on the performance of South African Tourism in Q3 and Q4 of the 2022/23 financial year, raising concerns about understanding and overspending across several projects.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Tandi Mahambehlala, also questioned Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille on several topics, including her announcement that the former Daily Show host will feature in a five-minute promotion video that will cost South Africans R33 million.
De Lille stated that the R33 million was a contribution from the Tourism Business Council of Southern Africa and would not affect South African coffers.
However, Mahambehlala said that the Noah deal was similar to the recent controversial R1 billion Tottenham Hotspur marketing campaign and called on the entity not to pursue it any further.
The Committee also discovered that there was no consultation between De Lille and Kolisi for the rugby star to feature in promotions on international platforms despite him being the New Global Brand Advocate for South African Tourism.
However, the Committee did note that there was no fraud in the contract.
Busy time for both
Parliament’s questions come amid a busy period for both Noah and Kolisi.
Noah is currently on a major South African tour, with shows in Durban and Pretoria taking place over the next two weeks – the Cape Town leg of the tour has already been completed.
It was also announced in June that Noah had signed a deal with Spotify for a weekly podcast series.
Kolisi, on the other hand, will captain South Africa at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, having returned from a serious knee injury.
South Africa will kickstart their defence of the title against Scotland on Sunday, 10 September, with millions of South Africans expected to tune in – depending on the load shedding schedule.