Avatar photo

By Citizen Reporter


Toyota says it won’t pull sponsorship over Steve Hofmeyr

The company says it doesn't support divisive people, but doesn't want to prescribe conditions to those it sponsors.

In a statement released late on Monday, automotive giant Toyota SA (TSAM) made it clear that they would continue to be a sponsor of the Afrikaans Is Groot (AIG) music festival despite the controversy around singer Steve Hofmeyr being on the line-up.

Last week, MTN responded to calls on social media to pull out its sponsorship of the concert in protest at Hofmeyr’s inclusion.

The show took place from March 14 to 17 in Cape Town at the Grand West Casino, and will be in Pretoria at the Sun Arena at Time Square Casino in November and December later this year.

However, the line-up caused uproar on social media after Hofmeyr was included, with some tagging MTN on tweets that were seen to be racist.

MTN announced that it pulled out because of Hofmeyr’s inclusion in the line-up after apparently already raising its concerns about it last month.

“Through its brand and network, MTN seeks to connect South Africans and bring people together and it’s unfortunate that by persisting with Hofmeyr, AIG is no longer helping serve that objective.”

Toyota South Africa Motors, however, said that they wanted to reassure customers and South African citizens at large that although they were “aware of social media comments relating to the involvement” of Hofmeyr, they were contractually not able to prescribe to the organisers on how to run their affairs.

“The contract is not prescriptive when it comes to the creative process, as this is outside the scope of the agreement.”

They said they had taken the matter up with the management of AIG, however, “clearly conveying its sentiments that the Toyota brand does not want to be associated with divisive elements”.

“In future, TSAM expects organisers of AIG to be more cognisant of artists whose involvement in the event could be divisive and based on this TSAM will act decisively in line with what the organisation stands for as a good corporate citizen.

“TSAM would like to reiterate that it supports various shows and events across different cultural spectrums without any prejudice. TSAM, as an organisation whose business ethos is built on respect for people, would like to reassure its customers and South Africans that it seeks to promote peace and unity in the country among all, and that it does not support any person or entity whose views and sentiments could be seen as sowing divisions.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics


Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits