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By Sabelo Ndzinisa - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-28-Aug-2009

GOLF – HIS Majesty King Mswati III was left smiling from ear to ear yesterday evening after it was announced that the King’s Golf Cup has amassed a sponsorship package of E970 000.

This sponsorship, the biggest since the inception of the tournament, was donated by different local companies. Amongst the highest contributors was Swazi MTN who forked out an incredible E200 000 towards the tournament while Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) contributed E180 000.

The different companies presented their sponsorships to the King in a special function held at Lozitha Royal Palace yesterday evening. Other big contributors included Nedbank who pledged E150 000 while Sun International promised E160 000. Metropolitan Swaziland were not to be left out as they donated E50 000 alongside B3 who pledged E15 000. Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, SPTC’s Managing Director (MD) Nathi Dlamini left the King in stitches with his never-ending jokes.

“We are pleased, Your Majesty, as companies to play a role in ensuring the success of this tournament. We are all determined to see this tournament being a huge success and to attract more business for the country,” he said. Last year’s package stood at E350 000 and it was also announced yesterday that the prize breakdown would remain unchanged even this year.

Prince Gcebile, a member of the tournament’s organising committee, said they were happy as a committee with the preparations for the tournament. He assured the King that everything was now in place for the tournament, expected to start next Tuesday at the Royal Swazi Sun course.

“Your Majesty, we are pleased to inform you that we will be holding a cocktail on Friday (today) with the aim of bringing the different sponsors together,” she said. Chairman of the Organising Committee, Dan Zikalala also announced in the presence of the King that golfers from different SADC countries had confirmed their participation in the tournament. These include countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa.

“From South Africa, we would have golfers from other provinces like the Free State and Limpopo, something that has never happened in past tournaments. This shows that we are well on track in achieving our dreams of attracting more business people into the country,” he said. Zikalala also mentioned that so far, they would have a field of 270 golfers, including professional golfers, adding that, “90% of these golfers are directors, not CEOs of big companies.” Other companies mentioned as sponsors though they were not present included Union Courage.

It was also announced during the function that Royal Villas had offered accommodation for the participants amounting to E8 000 while Swaziland Beverages pledged free drinks worth E10 000.

SOME OF THE SPONSORS IN A NUTSHELL: Swazi MTN – E200 000 SPTC – E180 000 Nedbank – E150 000 Sun International – E160 000 Metropolitan – E50 000 B3 – E15 000 Phakama Bus Service – E7 000 African Alliance – E20 000 Royal Villas – E8 000 Game Parks – E8 000

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