South African Cultural Observatory
Sector Research

Read More
SPECIAL FEATURES

South African Cultural Observatory

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is a national statistical and socio-economic research project, established by the Department of Arts & Culture, with the purpose of developing a comprehensive cultural information system in South Africa. The South African Cultural Observatory is hosted by and based at the Nelson Mandela University, and co-hosted in partnership with Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare. The primary cultural domains, as idenitifed by UNESCO, such as arts, tourism, heritage, libraries and museums, are the main research focus of the SACO and such research will support the development of intellectual capacity across these sectors.

The key functions of the South African Cultural Observatory include the following:

  • Policy focused research (surveys, case studies)
  • Reviews of current programmes
  • M&E – impact of government spending
  • Collection of statistics (databases)
  • Physical and Online access
  • Networking, sharing, partnerships

Executive Direction - From the desk of...

Executive Direction

These past few months have seen some good momentum gained in providing direction to the research outputs of the South African Cultural Observatory. In the same vein, the inputs for the Research Agenda have expanded the research possibilities for the Observatory and the sector as a whole.

READ MORE

Latest News

Africa Month Celebrations have begun

In celebration of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the African Union and the Department of Arts and Culture will host a series of events to celebrate Africa Month throughout the month of May culminating in the celebration of Africa Day on the 25th May. These celebrations are aimed at encouraging nation building through unity and freedom from oppression.

April Gig-Guide: cultural events not to be missed!

The month of April is a significant month in South Africa as it brings the remembrance of its first democratic election back in 1994. With it, brings the exciting buzz of ‘freedom’ in the country, and what better way to show true liberation than by reflecting and witnessing the country’s cultural scene during the month of April

How South Africa Can Grow Its Gaming Industry?

In 2018, the global gaming industry consisted of 2.3 billion consumers, who spent nearly US$ 138 billion on games. Research done two years ago showed that there were more than 11m gamers in South Africa.

Business and Arts South Africa Welcomes New CEO

The board of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) has officially introduced and welcomed their new Chief Executive officer, Ashraf Johaardien who joined the organization on 01 March, 2019. He has taken over from the successful leadership and legacy of Nicola Danby, and then, Michelle Constant after two decades. Nonetheless, Ashraf’s fundamental background in artistry and arts administration has made him a suitable candidate for the position, and has given him the potential to drive BASA towards more success.

Highlights Of Some Of Our Research Produced Since October Last Year

The report was aimed at exploring South Africa’s cultural goods trade with selected African countries between 2007 and 2017, with reference to the current cultural policy environment at the continental and regional level affecting such trade. The UNESCO (2009) Framework for Cultural Statistics is used to identify cultural goods, with trade data sourced from UN Comtrade (2018). This study is thus important in the light of South Africa’s signing of the Agreement (AfCFTA) to establish the Continental Free Trade Area in July 2018.

Matwetwe star’s passing was a loss to the whole industry

The South African culture and creative industries was dealt a terrible blow with the killing of Sibusiso Khwinana, one of the lead actors in the home-grown film, Matwetwe. His unfortunate and untimely passing at such a tender age has deprived the country and the arts community of his raw talent. In part, due to his and co-actors, the film is reported to have made the top 10 most watched films in South Africa.


Word from DAC

Minister Mthethwa Interaction with the Creative Industries

The creative and cultural economies are one of the fastest growing industries and should be at the centre of national strategic priority to unlock the wider socio- economic participation and inclusivity in the mainstream economy. The impact of commodity-dependent countries like South Africa has refocused attention on the urgency of economic diversification, revitalization and harnessing of human innovation in order to weather the economic storm.

READ MORE

The 360: News from around the world

World Conference on Creative Economy

INDONESIA is planning to hold the first ever “World Conference on Creative Economy” (WCCE), involving stakeholders and representatives from governments, private sectors, think-tanks, civil society, international organizations, as well as media and experts in the creative economy.

READ MORE

Open Source: Latest research for download

EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

COPYRIGHT is a big issue in the digital age. The copyright debate is raging largely between the European Union (EU) and the big technology giants. EU lawmakers have been working for two years on proposed legislation aimed at updating copyright for the digital age.

READ MORE

Progress Report: Updates on CO achievements

SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) was given a boost with last week’s release of the UN’s Creative Economy Outlook and Country Profile report, giving the institution a fitting recognition.

READ MORE

More News
Finance minister signals investment in culture’s soft power worth it Finance minister signals investment in culture’s soft power worth it

The power of arts and culture to change minds was in sharp focus last week as South African finance minister Tito Mboweni outlined the country’s ‘soft power’ investment plan for 2019.

State Theatre mourns death of Sibusiso Khwinana State Theatre mourns death of Sibusiso Khwinana

The council, management and staff of the South African State Theatre has learnt with shock about the death of actor, playwright, and director Sibusiso Khwinana. He was killed during an alleged robbery incident on Friday, 1 March 2019.

SACO's Employment Report Cited by Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura SACO's Employment Report Cited by Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura

The South African Cultural Observatory's Employment Report was referenced in the Gaurteng State of the Province Address by Mr David Makhura.

Opportunity open for creative entrepreneurs Opportunity open for creative entrepreneurs

The British Council in partnership with Seed Academy and the Social Enterprise Academy are recruiting 120 creative social entrepreneurs in Cape Town and Johannesburg to take part in a fully-funded, high impact business accelerator programme. Applications open on Monday 18 February.

Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront

Strauss & Co is pleased to announce the second of its contemporary art sales, the only such sale in South Africa devoted exclusively to this exciting category. The announcement of this 107-lot sale, due to be held on 16 February during the run of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (15 – 17 February), coincides with news that Jack Ginsberg, noted Johannesburg collector and philanthropist, has joined the board of Strauss & Co.

Connect with us
arts & culture NNU University of Fort Hare Rhodes University University of KwaZulu-Natal