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‘Cancel this thing’, said Ramaphosa about R22m flag project

A big controversy happened when a panicking Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, ‘Nathi Mthethwa’, called President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask him for advice on the project “How to handle?” SA’s reaction to the R22 million flag scandal, Ramaphosa simply stated: Cancel it

A video in which the rounds on social media networking site Twitter, Ramaphosa, states how he told Mthethwa to dump the supposed patriotic flag initiative after SA reacted with outrage. 

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On Thursday, Mthethwa declared that he gave directions to his department to review the monumental flag process in its totality”. However, Ramaphosa’s comments emphatically state that the project has been cancelled.

The President was speaking while at the Black Business Council summit in Midrand.

A chuckling Ramaphosa said: Mthethwa simply came to me and said, President, please tell me when I can call you. I say, Mthethwa, Right now, I am in a Cabinet committee meeting; we will talk after the meeting. 

“After some time, I call him back, and he says to me, ‘President, this flag thing is a great initiative, it seems like people are not happy with this decision, and I say, ‘Of course, they are not that happy with it. Cancel the thing,” said Ramaphosa to the laughter roaring in the crowd.

Ramaphosa then repeated that this showed “that this is “a listening government”.”

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“We listen to what our people say. We do not ride roughshod over our people.”

He believed that the price was too high, and that is the major reason people are raising an objection, “We will see it once our economy is flying”. 

According to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sports, the department earlier reported that R1.7 million was spent on geotechnical studies for the project so far.

As per reports, Mthethwa’s plan to spend R22m on a 100m-high “monumental” flag is under review.

On Thursday, Ministry declared that Mthethwa had directed his department to examine the procedure related to the flag in its totality after widespread fuss. 

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