In a significant move aimed at revolutionizing the sporting landscape in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Gayton McKenzie as the new Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture. McKenzie, known for his dynamic leadership and fervent passion for sports, has pledged to elevate car spinning to one of the “biggest sports” in the country.

A Promise to the Spinners

“There’s one promise I’ve made: I will make spinning one of the biggest sports in this country. Spinning and stance are not crimes. Spinning is going to enter the rightful place. To all the spinners, I am here and I’ll make sure you get recognized,”.

McKenzie declared

This bold statement underscores his commitment to transforming the perception of car spinning, a sport that involves driving cars at speed in circles and performing intricate stunts.

Legal but Regulated

While car spinning is legal in South Africa, it is subject to strict regulations and must be conducted in controlled arenas, overseen by Motorsport SA (MSA). McKenzie’s vision seeks to bring greater recognition and legitimacy to the sport, ensuring it is celebrated rather than marginalized.

A Personal Passion

McKenzie’s appointment, though unexpected, was not without strategy. He revealed that he had expressed his interest in the sports portfolio during negotiations with the African National Congress (ANC).

“I told the ANC about sports off the record during the negotiations. The president saw me fit for this position and I know the power of sports. I’m a sports person, I love sports, I follow sports, and I know the discrimination that comes with indigenous sports for people in the villages,”.

he explained

Sports as a Tool for Social Change

McKenzie envisions sports as a powerful tool for social change, particularly in combating crime and gangsterism among the youth.

“Sport can be used to change children’s lives. A child in sport is a child out of court. We are going to stop gangsterism with sports. We are going to use sports to get children off the streets and out of crime. When boys are involved in sports, there’s no time for drugs,”.

he emphasized

An Inclusive Leadership Approach

Confident in his ability to lead the department to new heights, McKenzie assured the public of his inclusive and patriotic approach.

“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,”.

he asserted

Widespread Support

McKenzie’s appointment has garnered widespread support from various quarters within the sport, arts, and culture sectors. The South African Music Industry Council (Samic), the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), and notable figures such as sports superfan “Mama Joy” Chauke and sports broadcaster Robert Marawa have all expressed their approval.

“Samic believes McKenzie’s appointment is a pivotal improvement for the sport, arts, and culture landscape. His experience in the public and private sectors equip him with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the arts community. We expect his strategic vision and hands-on approach will address long-standing issues while also paving the way for new and exciting developments,”.

Samic stated

From Spinning to Broader Horizons

McKenzie’s deputy, Kenny Kunene, shares his enthusiasm for car spinning. Both are avid fans, with Kunene even bearing scars from a spinning event in December 2020. McKenzie’s advocacy for the sport extends beyond personal interest, aiming to integrate spinning into the national sports framework.

A Vision for Indigenous Sports

Beyond car spinning, McKenzie is committed to addressing discrimination against indigenous games and sports in rural areas. He is passionate about providing equal opportunities for all South Africans, regardless of their background or location.

A New Era for Sport, Arts, and Culture

As McKenzie steps into his role, his ambitious plans signal a new era for sport, arts, and culture in South Africa. His commitment to car spinning and other indigenous sports reflects a broader vision of inclusivity, recognition, and social transformation through sports. Under his leadership, the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture is poised to thrive, bringing new opportunities and recognition to previously overlooked sports and communities.

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Kurhula David Ngobeni

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