July 08, 2024

Minister Gayton McKenzie to donate his first salary

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie and Kagiso artists
Picture: Supplied

South Africa's new Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, Gayton McKenzie, has pledged to donate his first salary after taking over from corruption accused Zizi Kodwa.


The Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader said he was "deeply touched" when members of his department told him about the plight of artists in Kagiso, West Rand. "I couldn't believe that they managed to keep this gallery open despite the many obstacles," he said. "One of the ladies told me that at times, they must just accept any price for their craft because of a lack of taxi money to go back home whenever they are at different markets. It is truly a heartbreaking afternoon for me," he said. The money will be shared by three artists. "These artists have been treated with disdain despite the many young kids that they are mentoring and keeping off the streets," he added. "Children as young as four years old visit this gallery, which is the second art gallery in the township. I sat with the artists and listened to their many problems while waiting until the money was in their different accounts. I saw gratitude mixed with tears," Gayton said.


Last week, the minister promised to donate his annual salary of over R2m to the registered Joshlin Smith Foundation for missing children. "The lawyers are in the final stages of registering the foundation," he said. "Although I already received the first salary, which has not been paid over until finalisation of the foundation, I have instructed lawyers to pay over my salary to the gallery," he added.

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