Embrace the SA flag, it's who you are

Friday, August 3, 2018

South Africans have been encouraged to embrace the national flag as it is the one thing that unifies citizens.

The message came from Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa during the launch of the #IAMTHEFLAG campaign at the Randburg taxi rank this morning – a partnership between the department and the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).

Government has identified nation building and social cohesion as one of the priorities for the current mandate period as envisioned in the National Development Plan.

Mthethwa said it was important to have the campaign this year as it coincided with the centenary celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela, the country’s first democratically elected statesman.

“We remember who we are and there is no better way than the flag of South Africa. It symbolises unity, diversity and our pride as a nation. We should respect our flag, we should popularise our flag, and it should be everywhere we are,” he said.

The essence of the campaign was to promote and entrench national consciousness, social cohesion, nation building and patriotism among South Africans.

Mthethwa spent the morning interacting with jovial taxi drivers and commuters as he handed miniature national flags, mirror socks and caps.

Ten people also received tickets to tomorrow’s Premier Soccer League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at the Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria where the campaign goes next.

The Minister was accompanied by department officials and celebrity ambassadors who also mingled with the commuters.

Mthethwa reminded commuters and drivers that the flag was the country’s “identity document”, saying it was the one thing that keeps citizens together.

“It should be everywhere we are; our homes, our workplaces, let’s have this flag. We must wear our flag with pride, let’s display it with pride so that everybody knows,” he said.

Department Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize said the campaign was to educate those who believe the South African flag did not represent them.

“This is the new democratic dispensation and many people need to understand what this flag stands for. We need to change that and say to people: ‘you are the flag’. It’s your values. It represents our struggles for liberation. It represents your aspirations for a better South Africa,” he said.

He added that the rank had been targeted because this was where the majority of South Africans commuted as they tried to improve their lives.

Taxi driver Sticks Mhlongo, who spoke to SAnews, welcomed the initiative, saying it was important for every citizen to contribute positively to a happy South Africa.

“Yes, we do have challenges but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be happy about who we are and where we come from. We have too much to be grateful for,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za