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Richards Bay chair Jomo Biyela, right, and Phakwe Gas CEO Thabiso Tenyane at the sponsorship announcement, July 10 2024. Picture: RICHARDS BAY
Richards Bay chair Jomo Biyela, right, and Phakwe Gas CEO Thabiso Tenyane at the sponsorship announcement, July 10 2024. Picture: RICHARDS BAY

Richards Bay have signed a sponsorship worth R100m from Phakwe Gas and also announced six players as part of their ambitious plans to be competitive in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) next season. 

Richards Bay, who secured their PSL status through the play-offs, have signed Thabiso Kutumela, Keegan Allan, Siyethemba Sithebe, Tlakusani Mthethwa, Sbani Mntungwa and Fezile Gcaba. 

Club chair Jomo Biyela also said at their season launch at Richards Bay on Wednesday they have signed a three-year R100m sponsorship with Phakwe Gas. 

As part of the sponsorship, Richards Bay will get R20m a year for three years, and the remaining R40m will be used for infrastructure development such as setting up a training centre. 

“The R20m per season, over three years, goes straight to the sponsorship of the team, which is R60m, and R40m will be utilised to build facilities and things like that,” said Biyela. 

“Like I said earlier on, this will help us to bring stability to the team and allow us to plan in terms of player personnel and the technical team. Because of this financial injection, expectations are going to be high, but we must also be realistic that we are a new team, but we are getting there. What we can promise is top eight. 

“We started talking last season, but we had our ups and downs in the league. We spoke again this year to say, save this club and we will talk again. Fortunately, we were able to save the club and the deal was concluded a week after we saved the club.” 

Phakwe executive chair and CEO Thabiso Tenyane said they went with the Natal Rich Boyz because his company was planning a multibillion-rand gas project in Richards Bay over the coming years. 

“It was intentional from the background that I will be doing a big project of gas to power in Richards Bay. Before I commit to go to schools, this was the best vehicle. When they went to the play-offs, I told them they will miss out on an opportunity if they get relegated. 

“I said I am prepared to sign and I have signed the contract, because if you sponsor a PSL team it must be approved by the PSL and it has been approved. I said I will give them R20m a season for three years. 

“But they need certain things like proper facilities and that cannot come out of the sponsorship because it will defeat the purpose. I gave them an allowance of up to R40m so that they can build facilities that are going to make them competitive.” 

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