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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


SA Tourism board dissolved after mass resignation

Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille said eight of the 11 board members, including the chairperson, have resigned.


The SA Tourism board has been dissolved after a mass resignation of eight of the 11 board members, including the chairperson Dr Thozamile Botha.

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille made the announcement on Wednesday.

De Lille said she wrote a letter to Botha on 6 April, asking for representation on why she should not dissolve the board.

Mass resignations

The minister said she did not receive a response.

“I requested the SA Tourism board chairperson to respond to me in writing by 18 April. I asked why the three matters raised in my letter do not constitute good cause for me to dissolve the board in terms of Section 16 (3) of the Tourism Act.

“I can confirm that between 7 and 13 April, eight of the 11 board members, including the chairperson, have resigned. The remaining three members of the board cannot form a quorum and the board is therefore no longer functional,” De Lille said.

ALSO READ: SA Tourism-Spurs deal ‘unlawful’, says De Lille

New board

“In all the circumstances, I believe that good cause exists to dissolve the board and I shall do so officially through the Government Gazette on Friday, 21 April.  

“I will also officially gazette the appointment of a team of three persons to manage the affairs of board until the appointment of a new board. This appointment is to be made under Section 16(3)(b) of the Tourism Act,” De Lille said.

Concerns

De Lille outlined a number of serious concerns about the board.

“This includes the conduct of the board in respect of the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship matter; the composition of the board and whether the members have the necessary knowledge, experience or qualifications as required by Section 13 of the Tourism Act; and certain serious allegations raised by the Acting CEO of SA Tourism regarding the lack of a proper functioning board,” she said.

Spurs deal

Last month, De Lille said despite claims of huge monetary benefits for the country, the proposed sponsorship deal between SA Tourism and Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur was unlawful.

“Given the circumstances we find ourselves in economically, we have to be much more careful and give consideration to everything that we do as government. Money must be spent wisely and prudently at all times as we are entrusted with public funds,” she said in a media briefing.

Additional reporting by  Molefe Seeletsa

ALSO READ: R1bn Spurs deal: Tourism expert says sponsorship will benefit SA but DA says it’s ‘lunacy’