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Nathi Mthethwa’s R22m monumental flag under review

19 May 2022 - 08:35
The plan by the ministry of sport, arts and culture to spend R22m on a 'monumental' flag is under review.
The plan by the ministry of sport, arts and culture to spend R22m on a 'monumental' flag is under review.
Image: THE HERALD/MIKE HOLMES

Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa’s plan to spend R22m on a 100m-high “monumental” flag is under review.

The ministry on Thursday announced that Mthethwa had directed his department to review the process related to the flag in its totality after widespread criticism.

“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. It also bodes well for one of the pillars of social cohesion which is an active citizenry.

“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,” the ministry said in a statement.

The department is entrusted with the mandate to transform SA’s heritage landscape by building monuments, memorials, museums, changing colonial and apartheid names as well as the overarching injunction heal the divisions of the past.

“It does so informed by national aspirations and international best practice which appreciates that heritage is among the bedrock of value systems that must drive national pride, social cohesiveness and unity. The World Heritage Convention makes the point that cultural and natural heritage is not only an irreplaceable source of identity and inspiration, but also a key driving force for sustainable development.

“In striving to transform the cultural and heritage landscape of our democratic society, the department will continue to be driven by the pursuit of the socioeconomic dividend for the country, as well as the historical, symbolic, spiritual and aesthetic values and identity of a democratic SA and its people. As we pursue this path, it is hoped that discourse will reflect deeper around these factors,” the ministry explained.

PODCAST | What if a pro-black organisation wanted to use the old SA flag to critique the ANC?

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