South African Cultural Observatory
The CCI's Contribution to the GDP Shrank by R42.2 Billion in 2020

Measuring the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa: One year on

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Should I Trade Internationally?

Export Awareness in the Art, Culture and Heritage Sectors

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About the South African Cultural Observatory

Initiated by the Department of 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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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 - December 2021

As we publish this edition of the Cultural Observer, most of the West has placed South Africa in the travel red list owing to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 identified by the South African scientists.

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Latest News

SACO Releases Covid-19 Impact Report in Soweto

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions most industry events and activities have either been cancelled or largely held online since April 2020.

Industry News and Highlights

The Cape Town-based artist, Andrea du Plessis (40) has been announced as the winner of the 2021 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.

Six Artists Scoop The 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists Awards

Six young South African artists were the successful winners and recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artists for 2021. The fortunate artists are Kristi-Leigh Gresse (Dance), Vuma Levin (Jazz), Buhlebezwe Siwani (Visual Art), Cara Stacey (Music), Gavin Krastin (Performance Art) and Thando Doni (Theatre).

Executive Direction - September 2021

As I write this, we are closing off the Heritage Month in SA, a period during which many South Africans make a deliberate effort to celebrate both their living and intangible cultural heritage in visible ways.

Thuso Mbedu Vindicates SA Creative Talents

The South African creative industry can be proud of the talent it continues to produce and is appreciated beyond our shores. The country’s talent impresses audiences across the world. Thuso Mbedu is one such young talent to emerge from here and is doing amazing work on a world stage showcasing raw South African talent.

Africa’s Creative Economies A Subject of a London University Study

Africa’s creative economies got a shot in the arm with the recent publication of a report by London’s King’s College. The report, titled Understanding And Supporting Creative Economies In Africa presents a critical discussion on the role of creative intermediaries, focusing specifically on their contribution to the development of creative economies in Africa.


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 Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. Additionally we have done research on other related sectors that impact the cultural industries.

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More News
Africa’s creative economy to be a big focus of Inter Africa Trade Fair 2021 in Durban Africa’s creative economy to be a big focus of Inter Africa Trade Fair 2021 in Durban

From 15 – 21 November, Durban will be host to the Intra African Trade Fair with a strong focus on the African Creative economy. The Trade Fair (IATF2021), a platform to promote trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), is billed to be an event that will bring together continental and global buyers and sellers and enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and the economic integration of the continent.

SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director appointed to be part of the NRF Expert Group SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director appointed to be part of the NRF Expert Group

SACO Executive Director, Ms Unathi Lutshaba, was recently appointed to be a contributor and to form part of the Expert Groups leading the development of the 2nd Edition Covid-19 Country Report on the implementation of measures to manage, respond and combat the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

The Influencing sector will dent youth unemployment in creative industries, argues Bongeka Gumede The Influencing sector will dent youth unemployment in creative industries, argues Bongeka Gumede

The creative arts haven’t always been seen as industries where creativity or content creation (in its many forms) was a sustainable way to make a living. The Influence industry (the sector that predominantly uses social media to shape, change and influence the thinking of their audiences in specific ways) is shifting that narrative.

The SA Cultural Observatory -  Measuring And Valuing SA’s Cultural And Creative Industries, September 2021 The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring And Valuing SA’s Cultural And Creative Industries, September 2021

The SA Cultural Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. 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 about the sector.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa has decided to uphold the 23 name changes in the Eastern Cape as gazetted by the Department on 23 February 2021.

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