'It should be scrapped not reviewed' — Bonang slams R22m flag decision

20 May 2022 - 10:30
By Joy Mphande
Bonang Matheba excited to make her AMVCA debut.
Image: Instagram/ Bonang Matheba Bonang Matheba excited to make her AMVCA debut.

Bonang Matheba has weighed in on minister Nathi Mthethwa directing the department of sport, arts and culture to review its plan for a controversial “monumental” flag project.

Last week, the department unveiled its plan to build a R22m, 100-metre high “monumental” flag. It had budgeted R17m for the installation of the flag and another R5m for geotechnical studies. The initiative was justified as a flag that would serve as a national landmark and tourist attraction.

Bonang Matheba was not impressed and called for it to scrapped.

She also called for Mthethwa to resign.

 “You have nothing to offer. Resign.”

Mthethwa shared a statement on social media admitting that not all artists were taken care of during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Government's response through relief, grants and [the] presidential economic stimulus package went a long way in softening the negative impact of Covid-19 on our society. We acknowledge that not all benefited from such interventions by government. This is so because of the finite/limited financial resources at the disposal of the state.

“We tried to stretch the rand as far as we possibly could. Over this period, the department has supported athletes, artists and their organisations financially to the tune of R808m, benefiting 59,224 artists and athletes with 37,556 jobs created and retained.”

Speaking during the Black Business Council summit in Midrand on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he told the minister to cancel the flag project.

“Mthethwa comes to me and says, ‘President, please tell me when I can call you’. I say, ‘Mthethwa, I am in a cabinet committee meeting, we will talk afterwards’.

“I call him back and he says to me, ‘President this flag thing, which is such a wonderful initiative, it seems our people are not happy with it’, and I say, ‘Of course they are not happy with it. Cancel this thing’,”.