July 09, 2024

Minister Gayton MacKenzie's major clean-up

Gayton McKenzie says the time where only a select connected few benefits is over
Picture: Supplied


After barely two weeks in office, newly appointed Sports, Arts, and Culture Minister Gayton McKenzie says he is spring cleaning his new house and doing a thorough audit of funds in his department. Last week, he gave an instruction that a list of all artists, creatives, and sportspeople who have been receiving money from the department be plublished, inclusive of amounts and reasons. Today, McKenzie announced that the department will stop funding trips for superfans.


Superfans Joyce "Mama Joy" Chauke and Botha Msila's expenses to travel to the Rugby World Cup in France last year totalled over R1.3 m from taxpayers. In a report submitted in October 2023 by AfriForum, they questioned why Chauke and Msila's expenses were so excessive. "The department also failed to provide detailed information about the expenses incurred for these fans' attendance at other similar sporting events," the organisation stated. They also requested the merits of the two superfans' appointments, which they claim were withheld. "Although certain requested information is missing in the feedback provided to AfriForum, it does show that the department spent a total of R1 361 283 on flights and accommodation for these two fans. AfriForum's other questions pertaining to Chauke and Msila's full spending during the tournament have also been left unanswered." AfriForum Campaign Officer, Charné Mostert, said, "This amount spent on flights and accommodation alone is far more than many South Africans earn per year. AfriForum will not only ensure that these irregularities are exposed but will also see to it that there are repercussions for it."



The new minister said he is halting all superfan payments. "I have stopped all trips for super fans; we have athletes and artists who are struggling to raise money to attend sporting events and exhibitions," McKenzie said. "How do we justify paying for fans? We shall no longer be paying for these trips and will use that money where it's needed the most," McKenzie said. He went on to say he has given an instruction that a list be published of all artists, creatives, and sportspeople who have been receiving money from the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture, inclusive of amounts and reasons. "The time where only a select connected few benefits is over," he said. "If you did nothing wrong or didn't benefit untowardly, you have no reason to fear. I have given a clear instruction that the public be made aware of the people that got funding today! I was shocked when I realised how many complaining artists are receiving money from DSAC," McKenzie added. Sports, Arts, and Culture spokesperson Cassiday Jacobs said the list of beneficiaries will take time to publish as they still need to meet as a department. "The minister will release an official press statement in due time," Jacobs said.

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