Gauteng reacts to Renault deal criticism

Tue, 5 February 2008, 12:19

South Africa’s Gauteng province on Monday had to reject criticism that its formula one sponsorship of the Renault team is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

It was announced recently that the French squad had entered a one-year partnership to promote Gauteng and increase tourism, job creation and the economy.

But the national South African tabloid The Citizen slammed the Renault deal, saying taxpayers were effectively funding a (US) $12 million deal to put a logo on a F1 car.

“The partnership agreement between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Renault F1 Team is not about placing an advert on the F1 car as alleged in the article,” the department of economic planning said.

“The partnership also does not involve the amount of money anywhere in the region alleged in the article,” it added.

The department said the hope of the F1 tie-up is to profile Gauteng internationally as a destination for investment and a home of competitive sport.

“The partnership will therefore have major spin-offs in terms of job creation and contributing to the accelerated growth of the provincial economy,” it said.

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