Home South African New SA Sports Minister shuts down free trips for super-fans

New SA Sports Minister shuts down free trips for super-fans

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The outspoken leader of the Patriotic Alliance, McKenzie has already caused a stir since he took office, with his new vision for sport in the country.

Gayton McKenzie Photographer Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

New SA sports Minister Gayton McKenzie on Tuesday unceremoniously called time on the careers of super-fans in South Africa.

The two faces of the ‘super-fans’ as they are known, Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila attended the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, which cost SA taxpayers in the region of R1.3 million.

The outspoken leader of the Patriotic Alliance, McKenzie has already caused a stir since he took office, with his new vision for sport in the country – most notably saying he wants to make spinning the biggest sport in the nation.

McKenzie made the announcement on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday: “I have stopped all trips for super fans, we have athletes & artist 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.”

Good Public Relations?

Clearly a focus on the athletes is a good thing, but it may divide many, as the super-fans were seen as good public relations for South Africa – as they were normally seen at every Rugby World Cup game for the Springboks last year.

Chauke was also seen prominently at the Africa Cup of Nations last year in the Ivory Coast where Bafana Bafana went on to surpass expectations to finish third.

It’s been less than 24-hours since McKenzie has been in the headlines as he vowed to get Springbok games shown on SABC.

On Sunday, McKenzie showed he was still on the path to ‘evict plumpness’ as he continued his marathon training in freezing winter morning conditions.

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