13 June 2017

South Africa: Bell Pottinger - Defining South Africa From Within and Without

Photo: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr
Cape of Good Hope in South Africa (file photo).

A parliamentary question by DA Shadow Minister in the Presidency Sej Motau to Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa has revealed that controversial UK-based PR Company, Bell Pottinger, was appointed by the SA Tourism UK office from January 2014 and paid a whopping R9-million for PR and other communication services relating to South Africa. Bell Pottinger, #GuptaLeaks emails also prove, not only helped the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma to shape a particular economic narrative inside the country but also partly determined how we should be viewed by the outside world. By MARIANNE THAMM.

Bell Pottinger, Xasa wrote in her written reply to Motau, was appointed by the SA Tourism UK Office in January 2014 for a period of three years through an open tender. The original procurement cost was R8,611,281 but rose to R9,600,858 due to "foreign currency rate fluctuations".

The total bill for the use of 13 PR agencies used by SA Tourism between April 2016 and May 2017 amounted to R40-million.

Marthinus Van Schalkwyk was Minister of Tourism until May 2014 when he was replaced by Derek Hanekom.

Bell Pottinger, Xasa said in her reply, had been appointed to provide public relations "including Digital PR and Online Communications...

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