Minister Gayton McKenzie Donates First Salary To Struggling Kagiso Art Gallery

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Gayton McKenzie all smiles with the owners of the Backyard Art Gallery Restaurant in Kagiso, Krugersdorp. Picture: X

Gayton McKenzie, the newly appointed Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, has received positive feedback on social media after declaring that he will donate his first ministerial salary to the Backyard Art Gallery Restaurant in Kagiso.

McKenzie revealed on his X account on Sunday that he will donate his first salary to the art gallery’s three proprietors.

President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced an expanded national executive on Sunday night, naming 32 Cabinet ministers and 42 deputy ministers to lead South Africa’s seventh administration.

Ramaphosa appointed McKenzie, the Patriotic Alliance’s leader, as the next Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture for the 7th administration, following Zizi Kodwa.

McKenzie went to the gallery over the weekend and appreciated the magnificent artwork while also interacting with the artists who created it.

He shared a sequence of five photos on his X account, showing him enjoying magnificent artwork and engaging with the art gallery’s owners.

McKenzie accompanied his first photo, which featured the art gallery’s emblem, saying he was very moved when my deputy minister, Peace Mabe, briefed him about the hardships that artists confront in Kagiso.


He expressed disbelief that the owners of the art gallery managed to keep it open despite facing numerous obstacles.

“It is truly a heartbreaking afternoon for me,” he wrote.

In the second picture, he revealed that despite mentoring many young kids and keeping them off the streets, the three owners of the place have been treated with disdain.

“Children as young as 4 years old visit this gallery which is the second art gallery in the township.”

In the third picture he posted, McKenzie can be seen posing happily with a woman who is one of the artists on the veranda of the establishment.

He mentioned that she told him they sell the artworks at any price due to lack of funds for transportation after attending various markets.


“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 rye different markets,” he wrote.

McKenzie recently pledged to contribute 100% of his parliamentary salary to the Joshlin Smith Foundation, which supports missing children.

He is due to earn R2.68 million per year from his ministerial position and is anticipated to hold it for the next five years. Had he remained a regular Member of Parliament, his remuneration would have been R1.27 million.

“I dedicated my salary as a Minister to the registered Joshlin Smith Foundation for missing children, the lawyers are in final stages of registering the foundation although I already received the first salary which has not been paid over until finalisation of the foundation,” he wrote as he captained the third picture.

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