By Umamah Bakharia
Anger is growing over the plans by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to erect a monumental South African flag in Pretoria at a cost of R22-million.
Five-million is part of the feasibility study, while the installation of the flag will cost R17-million.
Trade union Cosatu, which is also part of the tripartite alliance, has called the plans to erect the 100m South African flag a “pointless vanity project”.
In an interview with Radio Islam International, Cosatu’s Matthew Parks says government is ‘justifying’ the flag by saying it will attract tourist to South Africa and unite the nation.
“[Tourist] are not going to spend money to see [how we waste money], that they won’t do,” says Parks.
He adds that if government wants to entice tourist, they should rather use the money to revamp Robben Island, which Parks says is under “serious neglect.”
Department of Arts and Culture deputy director-general for heritage promotion and preservation Vusithemba Ndima says it is their duty as government to create historical monuments like the flag.
However, Cosatu argues that governments focus should rather be on the country’s unemployment rates.
“Let’s not waste R22 million on a bizarre massive project like this,” says Parks.
However, the debate of the erecting of the 100-metre high flag in Freedom Park in Pretoria, still continues.