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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says it opted to put a three-year marketing tender on ice to cut costs and avoid duplication of work done by the city’s tourism directorate.
Allegations that the 11th-hour cancellation of the tender would be detrimental to the city’s brand profile at big events such as the Chan Soccer Tournament and Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour were “misleading and disingenuous”, said city media manager Priya Reddy.
Responding to a Cape Argus report that officials and members of the DA were concerned about possible tender irregularities and political interference, Reddy said: “There have been a number of distortions and inaccuracies in the reporting of the process associated with the city’s brand strategy.
“It needs to be made clear that the city’s director of tourism, events and marketing initiated a tender that did not take full cognisance of the broader deliverables that were required.”
The tender that was issued several months ago was for a full review of the entire city’s branding, and was released without the city having an approved policy or strategy. It should have been limited to the services needed by the tourism department.
Reddy explained that Carol Avenant, who previously worked in Premier Helen Zille’s office as a communications director, was appointed to head the team working on the city’s brand strategy framework.
She said Avenant was appointed director of integrated strategic communication and branding after a vacancy arose in this position. “With the city’s approved brand framework in place, it was clear that the tender issued by tourism, events and marketing would have created unnecessary duplication…”
While correspondence seen by the Cape Argus suggested that officials were so uncomfortable with the way the city had handled the tender that one threatened to step down from the relevant committees, Reddy said all tender processes had been “scrupulously” followed.