It’s game on for Minister McKenzie

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Gayton McKenzie.

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Gayton McKenzie.

Published Jul 10, 2024


Hold on tight South Africa, there’s new Mr Razzmatazz in town.

His name is Gayton McKenzie, our Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.

On Tuesday, McKenzie announced that he had stopped all trips for super fans Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila to the national teams’ away games.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the department paid R1.3 million for their travel and accommodation at the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023. In addition, they are familiar faces whenever Bafana Bafana are in action outside the country and attended the Africa Cup of Nations a few months ago.

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 is needed the most.”

On Monday, the minister gave the go-ahead to publish a list of all athletes, artists, and other creatives who had received funding from the department, along with the sums and explanations for their grants.

The time when only a select connected few benefit is over. If you did nothing wrong or didn’t benefit untowardly, you have no reason to fear, he said.

It does not make sense that the government has to pay for fans to travel with the national teams. It’s not like Chauke and Msila’s voices can do much to drown out the voices of home teams when our sporting heroes are playing away from home.

Fans wanting to travel with the national teams should pay their own way, irrespective of whether they are “super” or ordinary. Besides, what qualifies a sport follower to be classified as “super fan”?

The issue of payments to athletes, artists, and other creatives has been a thorny one for years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many even took to the streets to express their unhappiness with the distribution of relief funds.

Keep going Minister McKenzie. We love the energy and enthusiasm.

Cape Times