The sport and Recreation Department has denied paying R17 million for US singer Beyoncé Knowles to perform at the sports awards later this year.

“No contract of R17m has been signed,” director-general Alec Moemi said yesterday. “This is a fabrication.”

He said the department issued a tender every year asking companies for proposals on what they intended to feature at the awards, if given the chance.

This year a company had proposed bringing Beyoncé, and had said it could arrange sponsors.

“We are quite keen and we are quite excited… if we can get Beyoncé without paying for Beyoncé,” he said.

However, it was just a proposal and the department had not yet decided who to appoint.

“We will not endorse such a thing (paying R17m), but if other people pay for it and it is in line with our mandate, we are happy with it.”

The sports awards take place in November. – Sapa