Giant Flag to be constructed in Graaff-Reinet
An initiative, which is said to harness various environmental, social and economic activities within the Camdeboo Municipality, was officially launched on Thursday in Graaff-Reinet.
The Giant Flag is a 66 hectare South African flag, made up of 2.5 million coloured desert plants and includes a four megawatt solar panel field.
In 2015, the construction of the Giant Flag will begin. The project will cost approximately R170 million, R100 million for the solar field and R70 million for the tourism precinct, plants, the white road as well as civil works.
An artist rendereing of the Giant flag when completed. It's going to be so big as to be seen from space.
Funds have been supplied by government institutions as well as private institutions, these are, National Department of Tourism, The Green Fund (Development Band of South Africa) and Nedbank Foundation.
The Flag has been set up to “break the cycle” of unemployment and poverty in the Camdeboo Municipality.
Guy Lieberman, Giant Flag founder and trustee, has said that “the Giant Flag intends generating a socio-economic shift so effective it will change the fortunes of the communities that surround it”.
Addressing the crowd gathered for the launch, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of the Department of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, said that the Giant Flag will be good for tourism within the Camdeboo municipality, will improve skills development and create an immense amount of jobs within the community.
“There are myriad challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. In most countries, these are pretty standard, and include economic uncertainty, new patterns of consumer behaviour and demands, keeping pace with technology, for example,” she said.
“In South Africa, the challenges are different, rooted in historical inequality. The Giant Flag, with its strong desire to level the playing field has broken the mould to significantly change the game.
“It’s innovative, it’s unique and the model on which it is based has the potential to do the same in other countries where change is necessary,” she added.
The Giant Flag’s vision is to initiate economic development that expands opportunities, creates potential and betters living standards while addressing issues of sustainability. .
“The project itself will generate over 700 local, permanent jobs. In addition, all public tenders will favour Camdeboo citizens and companies as a priority, extending to the broader Eastern Cape,” Lieberman added.
“It will be a man-made natural phenomenon, viewable from the flight path that will also generate a national pride campaign, the impact of which will be felt by the local community, throughout the nation and across the globe. A symbol of the country’s potential, it is intended to mobilise us as a nation to work together for our mutual benefit,” he concluded.
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