Pretoria - The DA is the latest party to ask questions about the involvement of the Limpopo Tourism Agency, which sponsored aspects of last weekend’s ANC 110th birthday celebrations hosted in the province.
The agency ferried journalists from Polokwane to Euphoria Golf Estate where President Cyril Ramaphosa was hosting the presidential golf day as part of the build-up to the main January 8 event.
First to ask questions on Monday was Azapo in the province, which accused the state entity of bankrolling the activities and the ANC even sponsoring them.
This was followed by the EFF, which released a statement threatening to write to the provincial legislature to ascertain why a government entity was involved in party events, an assertion the entity had since denied.
Speaking to Pretoria News at the event on Friday, the entity’s board chairperson, Andrew Dipela, had initially said: “We are not supporting a political party, but we are supporting a major event that happens to be in our province that provides livelihood to many of our tourism attractions.”
However, the DA in the province wrote to the legislature asking how it came about that the agency was involved.
In the letter, exclusively seen by Pretoria News, the DA asked how much money was spent directly on the golf day and indirectly through Endaweni Media.
It further asked what exactly was the purpose of the agency’s involvement or whether it had done business with Endaweni Media before, and if so, for what projects and for how much.
DA Limpopo acting spokesperson Katlego Phala said the involvement and expenditure of public funds by a state entity at a political party celebratory event was irregular.
“We will be writing a letter to Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism to determine if indeed such happened, if yes, how much was spent, who authorised such expenditure and what action will be taken going forward.”
In a statement, the agency denied the allegations, saying the event was merely to promote the forthcoming Limpopo Golf Challenge that would be held at the same venue.
Head of communication Mike Tauatsoala said: “The agency was in partnership with Endaweni Media who were in partnership with Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate and were marketing the annual Limpopo Golf Challenge.
“We used the event to market that. The pre-season coincided with the hosting of the January 8 golf day at the same venue that Limpopo Tourism will utilise to host the annual Limpopo championship.”
Tauatsoala said this was a rare opportunity that could not be missed as part of the build-up to the launch, which would create marketing awareness for the upcoming Limpopo Championship.