Gayton McKenzie says he will donate his first salary to struggling art gallery

Minister of sport, arts and culture Gayton McKenzie visited an art gallery in Kagiso.
Minister of sport, arts and culture Gayton McKenzie visited an art gallery in Kagiso.
Image: Gayton McKenzie/ X

Sport, arts and culture minister Gayton McKenzie has pledged to donate his first salary to an art gallery he recently visited in Kagiso.

McKenzie, at the weekend, expressed concern for the artists' challenges to keep the gallery running. 

“I have instructed lawyers to pay over my first salary to this gallery, and the money should be shared by these three tremendous artists. I sat with the artists and listened to their problems. I saw gratitude mixed with tears,” he said. 

“I was deeply touched when the deputy minister of sport, arts and culture told me about the plight of artists in Kagiso. I couldn’t believe that they managed to keep this gallery open despite the many obstacles. It is truly heartbreaking for me.”

He said sometimes the artists accepted any price for their craft just to get transport money to get home.

“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.”

McKenzie said his initial impression of the portfolio was that it had placed a strong focus on sports and he intended to create a balance in the department.

“My first impression of my portfolio was that there is an overemphasis on sports. Arts and culture have taken a back seat. Reading the reports on the department, I confirmed this, though arts and culture get most of the department’s budget. Things will have to balance, I’ll make sure,” he said. 

“I'm going to make the most of this. We will listen to people and their ideas. We will work hard as patriots. I'm going to be one of the best ministers because I have you guys. We will do well together because I didn't bring myself here; you brought me here.

“There are so many departments under this portfolio that I want you to know. It's not just sports. It's arts and culture, it's museums. I'm going to make sure that we bring this department to life.”

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