JUST IN | Cabinet approved R22m flag to unite South Africans – Mondli Gungubele | News24

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele

PHOTO: Kopano Tlape, GCIS

  • The Cabinet approved the R22 million flag project in February to promote nation building.
  • Minister Mondli Gungubele said the Cabinet did not take into account the costs of the project.
  • The Department of Arts and Culture is reviewing the project, following public outrage.

Minister for the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the Cabinet approved the 100m flagpole at Freedom Park in Pretoria in February as a project that would “bring South Africans together”.

“It wasn’t meant to tear us apart,” the minister told News24 after the arts and culture department announced it would reconsider the project, following public outrage.

When the Cabinet approved the project, there was no determination on the cost of it, Gungubele said.

“Financial matters had to be separated. The Cabinet was not involved in this,” he added.

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Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has since “directed his department to review the process related to the Monumental Flag in its entirety”, a statement from the department said.

Gungubele said they appreciated the minister’s commitment to addressing public concerns.

He added:

We will wait for the Minister’s explanations.

Meanwhile, the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sports said the ministry reported that R1.7 million had been spent on geotechnical surveys so far.

“The committee was briefed on the concept on Tuesday, when the project was launched for their contribution [to] job creation and diversification of the South African heritage landscape; things that the committee noted,” Chair Beauty Dlulane said.

Dlulane added that the committee had no problem with the intent and motivation behind the concept and that the numbers still needed to be presented to them in more detail.

“But the committee is pleased that the department listened to public sentiment and thereby committed to rethinking the concept and the numbers involved.”

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