President Cyril Ramaphosa has instructed Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa to cancel the R22 million Flag Pole Project after it received massive criticism from the public.
The 100m flag pole was meant to be erected at the Freedom Park in Pretoria.
Mthethwa had initially defended the project, saying that his department was entrusted with promoting social cohesion.
The Minister later said he had taken note of the public discourse around the issue and that the process would be reviewed.
President Ramaphosa commented on the issue at the Black Business Council Summit, in Midrand, north of Johannesburg last night: “Mthethwa called me and said…this flag thing, which is such a wonderful initiative, it seems that our people are not happy with it. Kare, no of course they are not happy. He said what should I do, kare cancel this thing. Now, I say so because we are a listening government. We listen to what our people say. We don’t ride roughshod over our people, we listen.”
“Minister Mthethwa was able to say, yes president, we will pull this thing. And besides that, the cost was just too high. It’s a wonderful project, kare no pull it, shelve it, we will see it once our economy is flying, then we will see it.”
Multi-million rand flag “unites” South Africa against Nathi Mthethwa
The R22 million flag saga has been trending for most of this week, with some calling for Mthethwa’s head. Various arguments were raised by social media users asking if a multi-million rand flag would make sense in a country riddled with poverty and other socio-economic difficulties.
Some have called out Ramaphosa for his recent call on the matter, asking if he didn’t see anything wrong with the project when it was approved by Cabinet early in the year.
VIDEO | Minister Mthethwa calls for review of monumental flag process: