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Telkom sponsors SA Olympic team

The sponsorship will allow Sascoc to expand Team SA and include more qualifying athletes.

Rio 2016 Team SA. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Telkom has been announced as the official Olympic sponsor of the South African Olympic and Paralympics teams in a multimillion rand deal.

The sponsorship will allow the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to expand Team SA, including more qualifying athletes, giving local talent the opportunity to compete on the world's greatest sporting stage.

Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer Sipho Maseko says, "Telkom is honoured to be able to partner with our national Olympics team as they test themselves in the world's most demanding sporting competition. Their dedication to the Olympic motto of faster, higher, stronger, resonates with all of us as we strive to always be better than we were."

Telkom has in the past sponsored Olympic teams, namely those who travelled to the Athens and Beijing Olympics in 2004 and 2008 respectively, as well as the London Paralympics in 2012.

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula welcomed the announcement and indicated the positive effect it will have on the youth.

"The Olympics is the biggest sporting event of our time. With the backing of one of South Africa's largest corporates to smooth their journey, I have no doubt that our team will do us proud. We are doing this for the future of our young people," he said.

Earlier this year Telkom signalled its intent to support local athletes: along with the sponsorship it will also be adding R4 million to the medal incentive pot, to be shared between both Olympic and Paralympic stars.

Sascoc Chief Executive Officer Tubby Reddy believes Telkom is helping athletes reach their goals.

"A chance to compete at the Olympics represents the highest dream for many athletes. To this end, we welcome the partnership with Telkom, which will allow all South Africans to follow the progress of their sporting heroes."

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will take place from 5 to 21 August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while the 2016 Paralympic Games will take place from 7 to 18 September.