Comedian and former host of "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah, has reportedly been commissioned to star in a new advertisement promoting South Africa as a prime tourist destination. The advertisement, expected to be approximately five minutes long, is said to earn Noah a staggering R6.1 million per minute, making it a highly lucrative venture for the comedian.
News of this commission came to light earlier this week when concerns were raised in parliament regarding overspending in various government programs. The Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee on Tourism, Tandi Mahambehlala, questioned Minister Patricia de Lille about the allocation of funds for Trevor Noah's promotional video advert.
While Minister de Lille emphasized that the R33 million budget for the advertisement would not come from taxpayers' pockets, clarifying that it was a contribution from the Tourism Business Council of Southern Africa (TBCSA), Mahambehlala expressed reservations and urged the entity to halt the project. She cautioned against using TBCSA funds as "a slush fund to commit financial maleficence."
De Lille said: "I am not mocking anyone. Anything that a whistleblower says must be looked at further or investigated. In this instance, I can tell you that the whistleblower did not give you the full story.
"It was on 21 July that I made the comment. The whistleblower did not tell you that I informed everybody that this was done by the private sector.De Lille added:
We were consulting tourism stakeholders, and they were all there. There is something wrong with the ears of the whistleblower, but I did say that this is being done by the private sector.
"I can tell you that in my last engagement, when I met with the chair of the tourism council… if you want anything on the matter with Trevor Noah, please contact them."
It is worth noting that the issue was initially brought to the attention of the committee by a whistleblower, raising concerns about the allocation of such a substantial budget for a single advertisement campaign.
The involvement of Trevor Noah, an internationally recognized South African comedian, in promoting tourism within the country can have significant benefits. With his global appeal and influential platform, Noah's participation in the advertisement has the potential to attract a wide audience and generate increased interest in South Africa as a tourist destination.
Tourism plays a vital role in South Africa's economy, contributing to job creation and revenue generation. The promotion of the country's diverse attractions, cultural heritage, and natural beauty through high-profile campaigns helps attract visitors from around the world, supporting local businesses and communities.
However, the allocation of substantial funds to a single advertisement has raised concerns about financial priorities and the efficient use of resources. The parliamentary discussions surrounding this matter reflect the importance of transparency and accountability in government spending, ensuring that taxpayer funds are allocated responsibly and with the best interests of the country in mind.
As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how the government will address the concerns raised by the committee regarding the Trevor Noah advertisement. Balancing the promotion of tourism with fiscal responsibility is crucial for the sustainable growth and development of South Africa's tourism industry.
Here are some reactions from Mzansi:
Comedian @rorypetzer joked: “Why are we paying Trevor Noah to tell people to come to South Africa? There's already not enough electricity to go around and now we want more phones to charge? 😭😭😭😭😭”
·Trevor Noah has done nothing for this country
He even kept quiet when the whole world was lying about South Africa..
Now they’re thanking him with R33 million of our tax money.. 😭😭😭
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