A proposal to pay Emmy-winning comedian Trevor Noah 33 million rand ($1.7m, £1.3m) to promote South Africa as a tourist destination has caused a storm in the country.
South Africa’s Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille informed parliament of plans to pay Noah to feature in a five-minute video advertising South Africa’s tourism.
Many MPs have opposed the suggestion, but Ms de Lille says that the South African comedian and TV host will not be paid using public funds.
She said that he would be paid using private funds from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, an umbrella organisation representing the country’s travel and tourism stakeholders.
Some South Africans have also criticised the planned deal via social media saying the deal is futile. While others claim its timing is insensitive as many South Africans are struggling financially.
“We expect the government not to waste money we don’t have on useless things. We don’t care what he is, the country is in shambles. No electricity, no employment but they have 33 million to give to Trevor Noah. What has Trevor Noah contributed to the betterment of this country,” one Twitter user asked.
However, other South Africans argue that Noah’s Hollywood star power could boost South Africa’s tourism.
In March this year, Noah and tennis legend Roger Federer, who both have joint South African and Swiss nationalities, starred in a campaign promoting Switzerland as a travel destination.