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Gayton McKenzie pulls plug on funding for superfans

Just two weeks into his role as South Africa’s Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Gayton McKenzie has stopped funding the travels of superfans who support sports teams locally and internationally.

McKenzie announced on social media: “I have stopped all trips for superfans. We have athletes and artists who are struggling to raise money to attend sporting events and exhibitions.

“How do we justify paying for fans? We shall no longer be paying for these trips and will use that money where it’s needed the most.”

The decision affects well-known superfans like Mama Joy, Botha Msila, Sadaam Maake, and Masilo Machaka, who support various sports such as football, rugby, cricket, boxing, and netball.

The South African National Supporters Union (Senasu), recognised by the South African Football Association, is unhappy with McKenzie’s decision and is demanding a meeting with him.

Senasu president Maake said, “Now we have a minister who never meets supporters to welcome him. The minister must consult Senasu or invite us to his office and tell us his plans for supporters.

“I saw his message on social media, and he never met us. As supporters, we are waiting for him. We want him to tell us that he is changing this and that and not airing it on social media.”

McKenzie’s decision comes after R1.3-million in taxpayers’ money was reportedly spent last year to fund Mama Joy and Msila’s trips to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Pictured above: South African superfan Mama Joy.

Source: Mama Joy Chauke