- The Department of Arts and Culture believes that the R22 million rand giant South African flag will create 143 jobs
- Vusithemba Ndima who is in charge of heritage promotion said the 100-metre-high flag will be a historical monument
- The Minister of Sport, Art and Culture Nathi Mthethwa believes the project will rewrite SA's history of colonialism and apartheid
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PRETORIA - The Department of Arts and Culture is not backing down from its plans to erect a giant monument flag worth R22 million despite the criticisms it’s facing. The Deputy-General for heritage promotion and preservation of the arts and culture department Vusithemba Ndima said if the project takes off at least 143 jobs can be created.
He said that indirect jobs will also emerge from the formation of the flag. Ndima said the proposed 100-metre-high flag forms part of his duty to create historical monuments in the country.
The feasibility study for the flag has already been undertaken and Ndima is confident that erecting the flag in Freedom Park in Pretoria will create jobs, Eyewitness News reported.
A programme, #IAmTheFlag, was launched in schools in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and artists to create hype around the project and the flag. Flags or “passports of patriotism” as the Minister of Sport, Art and Culture Nathi Mthethwa called it, were distributed to learners to educate others.
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During a briefing with the sport, arts and culture portfolio committee, Mthethwa said the project will rewrite the history of colonialism and apartheid in the country, IOL reported. Mthethwa added that the flag will be memorialising the democracy.
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Social media users did not hold back their disdain to the flag project:
“The ANC is falling apart. Will a flag costing millions put food on the table, repair the roads, restore water and where are the funds for KZN? It is clear that they have lost touch with reality.”
“If only it would finally cost R22 million, but with delays, strikes, protests etc we are probably looking at close to R1 billion. Now I wonder what materials they plan on using to make this thing.”
“Is there a particular material used here to warrant R22m?”
“Hundreds of artists have sat for months and not received a cent of Covid grants from the Department of Arts and Culture, yet there is soooo much money for a flag pole. I smell a rat called nepotism and corruption.”
“I give up, 22m for the flag this government is clueless.”
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Cosatu calls out Nathi Mthethwa’s proposed “senseless and ridiculous” R22m South African flag project
In a related matter, Briefly News also reported, the 100-metre high South African flag project has been slammed by the Congress of SA Trade Unions, which dubbed the initiative an “insult to workers.” Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has set aside R22 million for the erection of the “monumental” flag.
The department has hopes that the flag project will be a national landmark but so far, the concept has garnered negative reactions. Cosatu said the project is pointless and the idea behind it is senseless and ridiculous. In a statement released by the trade union, it said people around the world do not have money to visit the supposed tourist attraction.
Cosatu said the country has enough attractions and it does not need to waste millions on the “misguided project.” The union said the money should be used to pay public servants instead, TimesLIVE reported.
Source: Briefly News