Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
19 May 2022
6:51 am

R22 million flag shows ‘government still out of touch with its people’ – Outa

Faizel Patel

Outa said flag project raises questions about organisations unnecessarily making money out of government

Photo: iStock

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says government’s plan to erect a R22 million South African flag at Freedom Park in Pretoria is a monumental waste of money.

Government is facing growing backlash over the multi-million-rand flag project.

The feasibility study is expected to cost the taxpayer R5 million while the installation of the 100-metre-long flag will cost R17 million.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has defended the project as part of his department’s mandate to foster social cohesion.

Speaking to The Citizen, Outa’s Wayne Duvenage said the flag project makes no sense.

“It just doesn’t make sense when you live in a country and when you are part of a government that knows it is broke, we need every cent we can get. We’ve got massive increases in fuel, we’ve got so much happening, let alone the need to deal with disasters.”

“It sends a very strong signal that this government is still out of touch with its people, with the needs of its people, and it’s not thinking with a citizen centric hat on. It is thinking with a hat that says ‘where can we spend more money’ and possibly in a case like this at that cost, ‘how can we help other entities or organisations make money unnecessarily out of government,” said Duvenage.

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Duvenage said Outa is looking into the flag project, adding that the media and public pressure might get government to change its mind on it.

On Tuesday, trade union federation Cosatu slammed Mthethwa for ignoring poor South Africans by spending R22 million on the flag and called for him to be fired.

Cosatu said Mthethwa was the worst-performing minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet.

National spokesperson Sizwe Palma said spending millions on a flag is outrageous.