South African Cultural Observatory
Sector Research

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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 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...

Research is the word: What's done, what's to come

THE SOUTH African Cultural Observatory has a trove of research. Over the past three years we have generated research reports, monitoring and evaluation reports, a ground-breaking mapping study and more. We are intent on sharing this research widely and ensuring that the sector benefits, empowering through knowledge.

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Latest News

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

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

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 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.

Original Woza Albert! Comes to State Theatre

Performers and storytellers extraordinaire, the dynamic and renowned original actors of the internationally acclaimed South African classic Woza Albert! Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa, together with their original crew, have regrouped to stage this world-class form of protest theatre once more, and they are headed to the South African State Theatre this March 2019.

World Leaders asked to protect workers in the face of artificial intelligence and automation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialized agency of the UN that sets labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men, has made a call on world leaders to protect workers and jobs in the face of artificial intelligence and automation.


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.

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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.

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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

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.

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More News
Business and Arts South Africa Appoints New Marketing Coordinator Business and Arts South Africa Appoints New Marketing Coordinator

Starting off the year, Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) appointed a new marketing coordinator to join their fast growing team at the Johannesburg office.

Business and Arts South Africa appoints incoming CEO Business and Arts South Africa appoints incoming CEO

BASA has appointed current executive producer for the National Arts Festival (NAF), Ashraf Johaardien as the new chief executive of the organisation.

Music in Africa Foundation honors Eric Wainaina Music in Africa Foundation honors Eric Wainaina

Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina was feted with the 2018 Music In Africa Honorary Award at the opening of the Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) on Thursday night.

New administrator joins SACO team New administrator joins SACO team

THE South African Cultural Observatory welcomes Rene Derrocks to the team as the incoming new administrator. Rene has eight years’ experience in the tourism marketing environment.

SACO to share important creative research at workshops SACO to share important creative research at workshops

THE cultural and creative industries (CCI) are often misunderstood. Not anymore. The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has developed a baseline cultural information system to help practitioners, policy-makers and planners better understand the South African cultural and creative economy.

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