The Department of Arts and Culture has reciprocated the backlash Minister Nathi Mthethwa received for pitching a R22 million national flag project.
National flag project may not go ahead as planned
Social media went into a raucous earlier this week when the minister, making remarks in Parliament, revealed his plans to erect a 100-metre national flag, a symbol, he stressed, of our democracy.
Mthethwa’s motivation for the flag project was the ongoing destabilisation of the apartheid legacy, which started with changing the names of institutions and provinces.
“It still has those symbols which represent apartheid and colonialism. It is against that backdrop, therefore, in response to this very mandate, we have been building monuments, building museums and changing names,” he said.
After days of escalating backlash from all spheres of society, including Bonang Matheba, who called for the minister’s axing, it seems the department of arts and culture has reconsidered its position on the national flag.
You’re useless and we all hate you @NathiMthethwaSA ❤️— Bonang Matheba 👑 (@Bonang) May 17, 2022
“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.
It’s unclear, at this juncture, if the project will go ahead as initially planned. However, the department noted that it will continue in its pursuit of a “socioeconomic dividend for the country, as well as the historical, symbolic, spiritual and aesthetic values and identity of a democratic SA and its people.”