Gayton McKenzie wants list of Sport, Arts and Culture beneficiaries publicised

Artists and creatives have welcomed newly appointed Sport, Arts, and Culture Minister Gayton McKenzie’s decision to make public a list of all the individuals receiving funds from the department, including reasons.

McKenzie announced X (formerly Twitter) on Monday. 


Over the years, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has become synonymous with benefitting a select few artists and creatives.

In 2022, actress Natasha Thahane raised eyebrows when she revealed that she received R1 million in funding to study in the USA. 

On an episode of Podcast And Chill, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s granddaughter said that former speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete assisted her.

“I asked Mam’ Baleka (Mbete) and was like, ‘Mama, I need to go back to school. I’ve been accepted. I don’t know what I’m going to do, can I have funds? Please arrange something for me.’ She managed to speak to (the department) Arts and Culture and they were able to help me,” said Natasha.

She later released a statement explaining that she received R350 000, not R1 million.

“She (Mbete) advised me to explore the Department of Sports and Arts and Culture because they have got funding opportunities. That was my first conversation and last conversation with her. She did not make any calls on my behalf and did not send any emails on my behalf and I apologise for diluting the entire scenario because I made it seem like I had a personal relationship with her,” she said.

In 2021, former SABC sports presenter Owen Ndlovu benefitted from the department’s entrepreneurial initiative, the Mzansi Golden Economy. The department reportedly paid R2 million to Away Here Trading to monitor musicians’ royalties based on radio airplay. However, the company allegedly failed to deliver and adequately report how it spent the funds.


Further, McKenzie said that if one did nothing wrong or didn’t benefit untowardly, they had 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,” he wrote on X on Tuesday. 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament Fana Mokoena, who also serves on the Sport, Arts, and Culture portfolio committee, said McKenzie should start with politicians who’ve been looting the department through State Owned Entities. 

“The Heritage Fund, State Owned Theatres etc. investigate the Mzansi Golden Economy Fund. Start at the very top with the GNU partners,” he wrote on X. 

Actress Kgomotso Christopher said she is looking forward to seeing the changes McKenzie will bring to their sector.

“With all due respect, this is a fantastic administrative & research step necessary for the department. We would also welcome getting our Bill signed in Parliament,” she wrote on X.

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