South African Cultural Observatory
Save the Date: Café AI Dialogue on impact of AI on cultural and creative industries

Join the South African Cultural Observatory and the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation festival, in partnership with GIZ, in a first of its kind discussion on AI and its impact on the creative sector.

Read More
Cultural and sports impact on the economy can and should be measured, valued

GOVERNMENT strategic foresight is a powerful thing when it takes flight. Take the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy (2011) – which gave birth to the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), hosted by Nelson Mandela University since 2015 – for example.

Read More
A new era emerges

article by Unathi Lutshaba

Read More
Women move us, but find it hard to move the needle on their own progress

article by Unathi Lutshaba

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 Sport, 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 Kwazulu-Natal. 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 Summary

As we come to the end of the year, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is thrilled to reflect on the vibrant and diverse cultural landscape, and work, that has unfolded throughout 2023. Despite the challenges faced, the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) have continued to inspire, uplift, and bring joy to our lives.

READ MORE

Latest News

Save the Date: Café AI Dialogue on impact of AI on cultural and creative industries

Join the South African Cultural Observatory and the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation festival, in partnership with GIZ, in a first of its kind discussion on AI and its impact on the creative sector. The day will be framed by a discussion with a panel of specialists on AI in the cultural sector speaking for and against AI advancements.

The African Journal of Creative Economy

The African Journal of Creative Economy (AJCE) was recently launched at the ARUA conference in Lagos as part of the ARUA/The Guild new Cluster of Research Excellence: Creative Economies: Cultures, Innovation and Sustainability.

Ministerial Sector Consultation - Imbizo

On 13 October 2023, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC), exhibited and presented at the Minister's Sectoral Consultation event (Imbizo) at the Miriam Makeba Centre of Performing Arts, in East London.

ICCROM Inception Workshop

Cultural and natural heritages are considered invaluable resources. They can be used for a variety of purposes, from promoting destinations to constructing nations.

Creativity in Cultural and Creative Industries and Innovation through the lens of the Basque Government

The Department of Culture and Language Policy, a Department of the Basque Government, invited the South African Cultural Observatory to present at the CCIs and Innovation Contrast Open Conference in Bilbao, Spain on October 25–26, 2023.

Animation

The South Cultural Observatory (SACO) in partnership with Animation South Africa (ASA), hosted a panel discussion titled "Elevating Animation – how to do it, together?” The objective of the workshop was to spotlight the industry and discuss what can be done to augment it moving forward.


Word from DAC

Minister Zizi Kodwa unveils new award ceremony: “The South African Creative Arts Awards”

The South African Creative Arts Awards will be the be most desired recognition and cultural recognition in the South African creative industry. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture intends to hold the South African Creative Arts Awards annually.

READ MORE

The 360: News from around the world

Call for applications: Relief fund for jazz musicians in South Africa

Switzerland-based Levedo Foundation, in partnership with Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, is calling on all professional jazz musicians based in South Africa to apply for its short-term relief fund.

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

The SA Cultural Observatory -  Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural And Creative Industries

The South African Cultural Observatory was established to undertake economic research for the cultural and creative industries in South Africa. The kind research we conduct provides such information as to the economic size of the sector, number of jobs in the sector or transformation. We publish the reports on our website and in various media platforms, including this newsletter, with a view to empower industry stakeholders with information that we hope they will find useful, informative and can be relied upon when making decisions that affect the sector.

READ MORE

More News
Cultural and sports impact on the economy can and should be measured, valued Cultural and sports impact on the economy can and should be measured, valued

GOVERNMENT strategic foresight is a powerful thing when it takes flight. Take the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy (2011) – which gave birth to the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), hosted by Nelson Mandela University since 2015 – for example.

Research week Research week

Nelson Mandela University hosted their second annual Research Week on 11-15 September 2023 as part of their continued effort to foster engagement and partnership to contribute to the research culture within the institution.

Honouring Mandela - A Day To Give Honouring Mandela - A Day To Give

On Mandela Day, Gelvandale High School hostel received assistance from the South African Cultural Observatory, Nelson Mandela University, and other various organizations.

SAMA Professionalisation Workshop 21 - 22 August 2023 SAMA Professionalisation Workshop 21 - 22 August 2023

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) took part in a discussion with the stakeholders in the Museum industry on the professionalization of heritage in South Africa. The discussion was aimed at finding ways to professionalize the work Museums do in SA. The Museum stakeholders would like their work to be qualified by SAQA so that when they enroll students, they (students) can come out with a qualification that is graded.

Spring into heritage – culture helps us leap ahead Spring into heritage – culture helps us leap ahead

KNOWING where we come from and who we are is what culture is. The repetition of rituals, beliefs, practices, and how we share knowledge is culture in motion.

Connect with us
Sport, arts & culture NNMU University of KwaZulu-Natal Rhodes University