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UPDATE: Questions over Zuma Foundation's sponsorship of Formula E racing


IT HAS emerged that the foundation's logo was only featured as a gesture of goodwill. The Team China Racing manager, Steven Lu, said a sponsorship deal was struck with the members of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, accompanied by the president, when they visited Beijing last year.

It is reported that team owner, Yu Liu, offered to place the Zuma Foundation’s logo on the racing car to promote and create awareness around the globe and allegedly committed to donating R500 000 to the foundation if the promotion did attract interest.

Article from 08 July 2015:

IT'S another day and we find yet another scandal surrounding our president. This time it's not about his big fancy house or letting his buddies land at a military base, no, this one actually involves motorsport. To be more specific, the scandal is around the fact that the Zuma Foundation is a sponsor of the Formula-E racing team, which is owned by a Chinese businessman with strong links to South Africa.

Formula E features vehicles which look similar to Formula 1 cars, but which are powered by electric motors. The class was first introduced last year and the team in question was founded more than a decade ago by Chinese businessman Yu Liu, together with the Chinese Ministry of Sport to compete in the A1 Grand Prix (A1GP).

Pictures emerged two weeks ago of the foundation’s logo printed on panels in the team’s garage during one of the races, which are held across the globe, but not in South Africa. Yes, we are puzzled by this as well.

What’s also strange is that there’s no mention of its sponsorship of the Team China Formula E Race Team anywhere on the foundation’s website. However, it is claimed that the Zuma Foundation patron recognises the need for foreign development and partnerships. According to the foundation’s website, the only sports development it sponsors is the annual Msholozi Soccer Tournament in KwaZulu-Natal, which we suspect does not involve cars or racing of any sort.

So why is Zuma not sponsoring local racing? Why are we losing young motorsport champions to European teams? Why is there nothing being done by government to prevent the thinning out of the motorsport scene here in our own country? Is it because there are no benefits for the individual parties involved? The Zuma Foundation is so busy sponsoring a Chinese racing team that it is overlooking the potential within our country. But then isn’t that the way it is these days?

What are your thoughts on this matter? Facebook us, tweet us or e-mail us. We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.




Article written by Justin Jacobs
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