Tour the Mot­her Flag pi­lot si­te

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

If you’ve got ti­me to spa­re this y­e­ar, con­si­der a free tour of the Mot­her Flag, pi­lot si­te of South A­fri­ca’s Gi­ant Flag on the out­skirts of Graaff-rei­net.

The Gi­ant Flag is a mul­ti-di­men­si­o­nal pro­ject that, w­hen com­ple­te, will com­pri­se a con­fe­ren­ce and tou­rism pre­cinct, a 4-me­ga­watt so­lar pa­nel field and a 66-hec­ta­re South A­fri­can flag ma­de up of 2.5 mil­li­on co­lou­red de­sert plants.

The Mot­her Flag is the pi­lot pro­ject, a one-hec­ta­re si­te ad­ja­cent to the Gi­ant Flag, which has been built to gi­ve vi­si­tors a bet­ter i­dea of the Gi­ant Flag con­cept.

Just 1/66th the si­ze of the pro­po­sed Gi­ant Flag, it’s still a pret­ty im­pres­si­ve in­stal­la­ti­on and well-worth vi­si­ting.

That’s ac­cor­ding to Net­flo­rist MD Ry­an Ba­cher, who vi­si­ted the Mot­her Flag with his fa­mi­ly du­ring De­cem­ber.

Net­flo­rist is one of the com­pa­nies part­ne­ring with the Gi­ant Flag te­am to help rai­se the fun­ding it needs to build the pre­cinct and so­lar field, as well as ‘rai­se’ the Gi­ant Flag so that it can li­ve up to its pro­mi­se of ge­ne­ra­ting a so­ci­oe­co­no­mic shift so ef­fecti­ve that it will chan­ge the cour­se of the com­mu­ni­ties that sur­round it, fo­re­ver.

Ba­cher, who plan­ted two in­di­ge­nous spe­cies, an Aloe Fe­rox and Se­ne­cio Fi­coi­de, in the Mot­her Flag and at­ta­ched Net­flo­rist’s lo­go to its sign as a sym­bol of the com­pa­ny’s sup­port for the pro­ject, said: “With the ex­cep­ti­on of a de­ve­lo­ping tou­rism in­du­stry, the­re is li­mi­ted e­co­no­mic in­fra­struc­tu­re in the Dr Bey­ers Nau­dé Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

As a re­sult, u­nem­ploy­ment is c­lo­se to 40% and is ex­a­cer­ba­ted by the as­so­ci­a­ted so­ci­al pro­blems of po­ver­ty, food in­se­cu­ri­ty and youth and wo­men u­nem­ploy­ment." Ba­cher be­lie­ves that the Gi­ant Flag pre­cinct has the po­ten­ti­al to act as a ca­ta­lyst for chan­ge in the a­rea by brin­ging to­get­her se­ver­al stre­ams of en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­ci­al and e­co­no­mic acti­vi­ty un­der one en­ter­pri­se. “It’s an ex­cep­ti­o­nal­ly am­bi­ti­ous i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve, one that Net­flo­rist ho­pes will succeed and is proud to sup­port in 2018 and in­to the fu­tu­re,” Ba­cher said.

Through its lo­cal te­am at the Cam­de­boo Na­ti­o­nal Park, San­parks has been as­sis­ting the Gi­ant Flag by re­com­men­ding va­ri­ous in­di­ge­nous plants and gui­ding the Gi­ant Flag te­am as to how be­st to spa­ce and plant the bi­o­di­ver­se spe­cies in a­mongst the co­lour­ful cacti.

“The Cam­de­boo Na­ti­o­nal Park is a di­rect neig­hbour of the Gi­ant Flag. It ma­kes sen­se that we par­ti­ci­pa­te in the spe­cies se­lecti­on and use our flo­ra spe­ci­a­lis­ts to as­sist the Gi­ant Flag te­am in its gre­at vi­si­on,” said M­z­wan­di­le M­ja­du, Park Ma­na­ger of the Cam­de­boo Na­ti­o­nal Park. Gi­ant Flag Com­mu­ni­ty Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer, T­ho­be­ka Booy­sen, and the Gi­ant Flag y­el­low Jeep are a fa­mi­li­ar sig­ht a­round Graaff-rei­net.

She’s al­so re­spon­si­ble for run­ning the vi­si­tor tou­rs to the Mot­her Flag and the Roy­al Block Pu­blic Art­work in her s­treet in the U­ma­si­zak­he towns­hip.

To book a free tour, e­mail her at t­ho­be­[email protected] gi­ant­flag.co.za.

Vi­sit https://www.gi­ant­flag.co.za/ to le­arn mo­re a­bout the i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve and pos­si­bly pled­ge your sup­port.

Net­flo­rist MD Ry­an Ba­cher plants an in­di­ge­nous plant in the Mot­her Flag as­sis­ted by ca­re­ta­ker At­tie Hen­ricks.

Net­flo­rist MD Ry­an Ba­cher with wi­fe Nic­ky daug­h­ter Lil­ly and son Ra­fi.

Gi­ant Flag Com­mu­ni­ty Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer T­ho­be­ka Booy­sen, Net­flo­rist MD Ry­an Ba­cher and Mot­her Flag ca­re­ta­ker At­tie Hen­dricks.

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