Actions Speak Louder: Gayton McKenzie Pledges His R2.6 Million Annual Salary to Charity
Photo Cred: Gayton McKenzie Facebook

Newly elected Sports Minister Gayton McKenzie has pledged his entire R2.6 million parliamentary salary to the Joshlin Smith Foundation for Missing Children, demonstrating his commitment to meaningful social impact.


South Africa (06 July 2024) – Actions often have the power to inspire and drive change, and newly elected Sports Minister Gayton McKenzie is a shining example of this. The South African politician is turning his positive intentions into meaningful contributions by pledging his entire parliamentary salary to charity.

McKenzie, known for his remarkable journey from a life of crime to a position of leadership, has pledged to donate his entire parliamentary salary of R2.6 million to the Joshlin Smith Foundation for Missing Children.

This noble gesture not only highlights his commitment to social causes but also sets a powerful precedent for other leaders to follow.

Born on March 10, 1974, McKenzie’s life story is nothing short of extraordinary. A former criminal who served 17 years for robbery, he has since become a successful businessman, motivational speaker, author, and politician. His journey to prominence began in the early 2000s when he played a crucial role in a prison exposé that led to his early release and an investigation into prison corruption by the Jali Commission of Inquiry.

In a heartfelt podcast interview with Izak du Plessis from Nuuspod on the 7th of June, 2024, McKenzie announced his intention to donate his entire parliamentary salary to an organisation he is establishing to aid in the search for missing children. The foundation, named after six-year-old Joshlin Smith who disappeared from Saldanha in February 2024, aims to address the deep concerns surrounding missing children in South Africa.

The story of Joshlin Smith, whose disappearance shook the nation, has highlighted the urgent need for such initiatives. Despite extensive searches and investigations, no trace of her has been found, and the case has been marred by political interference and fake news, complicating the search efforts.

McKenzie reiterated his commitment in a post on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “I am giving 100 percent of my parliamentary salary to a charity that is looking for missing children. I will also make substantial donations to the charity besides my salary contribution. I hope this settles the ‘he is there for the perks and salary’.”

But McKenzie’s philanthropic efforts are not new. He has a history of using his life experiences to inspire and uplift others. From his early days as a motivational speaker to his work as a consultant in the mining industry and his diverse business ventures, McKenzie has always found ways to give back to the community.

His literary contributions, including bestsellers like “The Choice: The Gayton McKenzie Story,” “A Hustler’s Bible,” and “The Uncomfortable Truth,” have also resonated with many, offering insights into his journey and the lessons he has learned along the way.

Social media has been abuzz with positive reactions to McKenzie’s pledge. Missing Children SA simply commented, “Thank you.” Another user, Xuffler, praised him by saying, “You did this even with your Mayor salary ✊🏿 that’s revolutionary!”

Gayton McKenzie’s pledge is reminiscent of a similar gesture made by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 when he donated half of his salary to charity. Ramaphosa’s donation, managed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, was aimed at encouraging the wealthy to contribute to nation-building efforts.

Actions like these remind us all that leadership is about more than words; it’s about making a difference where it matters most.

Sources: Gayton McKenzie | Nuuspod | X (Twitter) 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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