Cape Town – Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says his department has taken note of the public outcry over the plan to spend more than R20 million on a flag project.
The department said this in a statement on Thursday.
The flag was set to be erected at the Freedom Park Heritage Site and Museum at a cost of R22 million.
Mthethwa said the decision would be reviewed.
“Over the past few days, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has followed and taken note of public discourse that has unfolded in respect of the envisaged monumental flag.
“The diversity of voices around this important heritage project are a welcome celebration of our country’s vibrant constitutional democracy and the freedoms that must be upheld beyond posterity.
“In upholding these ethos and the inalienable rights of citizens to be heard, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has directed his department to review the process related to the monumental flag in its totality,” read the statement.
Over the past few days the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr. @NathiMthethwaSA has followed and taken note of public discourse that has unfolded in respect of the envisaged Monumental Flag. pic.twitter.com/sGfD2S9Op7
— Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (@SportArtsCultur) May 19, 2022
Mthethwa had initially defended the plan, telling eNCA during an interview that the monumental flag would provide “continuous education” and “outlive us”.
Earlier this week, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) slammed the plan and described it as absurd, pointless, senseless and ridiculous.
“The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) calls on the South African government to scrap the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports’ ludicrous and absurd plan to blow about R22 million on a 100-metre flag monument. This vanity project is pointless and the idea that it will attract tourists is senseless and ridiculous.
“Many people around the world are being squeezed by the rising cost of living and they do not have the money to go around looking at flag monuments.
“South Africa has enough tourist attractions and does not need another inept government department to waste millions of rands on a misguided project to attract tourists,” said Cosatu.
The union joined the growing outrage from the public and political parties such as ActionSA, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) to name just a few.
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe