South African Cultural Observatory
About the South African Cultural Observatory

Initiated by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture through the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy (2011), the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is a statistical and socio-economic research project charts the socio-economic impact of the arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors and the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in South Africa.

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Covid-19 Impact Survey Report on CCIs

An early assessment

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CALL FOR PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) invites you to submit an abstract or proposal for consideration for the SACO’s 4th international conference #SacoConf2022 to be held on 9 and 10 November 2022, in Pretoria/ Tshwane, South Africa. This will be a hybrid event with opportunities offered for both in-person and virtual attendees. Theme: ‘Creative economy reset: Structuring the creative and cultural industries for a sustainable and inclusive future.’ Consideration will be given to all submissions and applicants will be notified of acceptance within 2-3 weeks of the deadline. Selected papers will be considered for a post-conference publication or academic output. Deadline for submissions: 14 August 2022. Info: Sinethemba Vitshima on sinethemba.vitshima@mandela.ac.za Copy: info@southafricanculturalobservatory.org.za Contact: +27(0)41 504 4930, 21-23 Donkin Street, Central, Gqeberha, South Africa Download the #SACOConf2022: Call for abstracts, papers & presentations

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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 the University of Fort Hare 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 Direction - June 2022

I am hopeful that as you read this edition of The Cultural Observer you are warm as this winter has been very chilly, with temperatures plummeting to close to zero degrees in some parts of the country.

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Latest News

National Arts Festival Back in Face-to-Face mode

As you read this the final cultural shows of National Arts Festival are possibly on stage in Makhanda. The National Arts Festival came back in a face-to-face format for the first time in two years.

ABSA opens new art gallery

Absa has opened a new art gallery in the piazza of Towers Main in Johannesburg central business district as of May 2022. The Absa Art Gallery officially opened its doors with the first exhibition titled Voices: Past and Present.

James Ngcobo joins Joburg City Theatres

The award-winning actor and director James Ngcobo has joined Joburg City Theatres (JCT) as an artistic director. Ngcobo who was with the Market Theatre Foundation for nine years joins the JCT as of July 1 and will be responsible for developing and implementing an artistic vision for organisation’s 10 spaces.

Report Highlights

In this edition we highlight key findings from our recent reports. The reports are: a chapter from the Mapping Study that gives the provincial profile of the cultural and creative industry and the South African’s Animation Industry: Ecosystem Analysis.

SACO Releases CCI Mapping Study 2022

On Thursday, 31 March the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) released its much- awaited CCI Mapping Study to the media and industry at an event in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The Apartheid Museum re-opens

The Apartheid Museum has reopened its doors to the public and is encouraging as many people to visit and tour the facility. The museum closed its doors in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Word from DAC

Mitigation plans to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Sport, Arts and Culture sector

Statement by Minister Nathi Mthethwa on mitigation plans to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Sport, Arts and Culture sector.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More News
Black Coffee Wins Best Dance/Electronic Album at 2022 Grammys Black Coffee Wins Best Dance/Electronic Album at 2022 Grammys

Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee made South Africa proud once more with winning a Grammy Award at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony organised by the United States National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

Executive Direction - March 2022 Executive Direction - March 2022

This edition of The Cultural Observer is published during an interesting but complex international environment. While on the positive side the world has seen Covid-19 infections numbers subside, we are witnessing a war that has a devasting impact to the world economy.

2nd Round Sports Sector COVID-19 Impacts and Responses Business Survey 2nd Round Sports Sector COVID-19 Impacts and Responses Business Survey

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is undertaking a 2nd round of research (an initial study was conducted in 2020) to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure better preparedness in the future and to use the information to assess how sports-related businesses are responding to the current crisis. In this context, all formal and informal businesses, organisations, trainers, coaches, etc. involved in and/ or earning an income in the sports sector and related activities are invited to complete this survey.

Developing and supporting keen audiences and creative voices broadly, across Australia Developing and supporting keen audiences and creative voices broadly, across Australia

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, saw another “Australia Speaks” lecture take place at the National Museum of Australia. The lecture was carried out in the form of a discussion, where Australian audiences were offered the opportunity to engage with big, bold ideas about the future of their country. The lecture sought to come up with ways to develop and support keen audiences across the country, and nurture our creative voices and arts and culture more broadly.

MIAF and Goethe-Institut to host CCI round table MIAF and Goethe-Institut to host CCI round table

The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut will host an online round-table discussion on 18 February from 11am to 11.45am CAT.

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Sport, arts & culture NNMU University of Fort Hare Rhodes University University of KwaZulu-Natal