South African Cultural Observatory
Department of Arts and Culture

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Nelson Mandela University

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Rhodes University

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University of Fort Hare

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University of Kwazulu-Natal

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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

Word from DAC

Speaking notes by Minister EN Mthethwa on the occasion of the South African Cultural Observatory’s third international conference

Speaking notes by Minister EN Mthethwa on the occasion of the South African Cultural Observatory’s third international conference at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. "This year marks the centenary birth of two of the finest South Africans, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Ma Nontsikelelo Sisulu. We also observed the 40th anniversary of the untimely passing of that eminent African Scholar and a leader of our people Professor Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. We shall draw inspiration from the work they did during their life time. The progressive world community shall join us in celebrating the lives of these giants of our liberation struggle."

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Latest News

Teksmark to include more English and isiXhosa

IT WAS announced at the 2018 Teksmark (Text market) that the Baxter Theatre Centre and the National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative (NATi) will collectively contribute an additional R200 000 to ensure the inclusion of isiXhosa texts to the already Afrikaans and English selections from 2019 onwards.

Western Cape's premier dance festival returns

THE Baxter Dance Festival, the Western Cape’s premier dance platform, returns to the Baxter for its 14th annual instalment.

Business and Arts South Africa CEO steps down after a decade

BUSINESS and Arts South Africa (BASA) have announced that current CEO, Michelle Constant, has resigned and will leave the organisation at the end of February 2019.

Iconic Moving into Dance still flying after 40 years

MOVING into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) is a dance company that has stood the test of time. This month it presents Equinox 1 and 2 at the University of Johannesburg theatre in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

Market Photo Workshop wins international award

THE 29-year-old Market Photo Workshop has been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2018 Principal Prince Claus Award.

Cape Town City Ballet appoints new chief executive

THE Cape Town City Ballet it is delighted to announce the appointment of Debbie Turner as its new CEO from 1 October, 2018.


Note from the Culturalist - CEO

New knowledge is power - A final word

LOUIS L'Amour said, 'There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.' In many respects, this is the end of something and the birth of something new. Nelson Mandela University - and its partners, the Universities of Rhodes and Fort Hare - are concluding the three-year South African Cultural Observatory contract with the Department of Arts & Culture.

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The 360: News from around the world

Lagos home of new BBC burea

OVER 100 new jobs have been created in Nigeria in part of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) biggest expansion since the 1940s. BBC is investing in the Nigerian television market - and in the process ensuring stories focus on young people and women across the whole of West Africa.

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Open Source: Latest research for download

The rise of co-working spaces: A literature review

THIS literature review, The rise of coworking spaces: A literature review, by Alessandro Gandini addresses one of the most interesting phenomena to recently emerge in the past two decades: The rise and diffusion of coworking spaces. Co-working spaces are encouraging transformation in the workplace, allowing people to freelance and be independent workers - but ones with access to infrastructure, the internet, information and networks that can work as an "engine" for their profession and growth.

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Progress Report: Updates on CO achievements

Cultural conference pulls creative economy into sharp focus

DAY two of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) 2018 international conference delivered on its promise of deep analysis and critical and creative debates on the future of South Africa’s and the world’s creative economy. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, over 200 delegates swelled Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the second day of the cultural think-tank’s creative industry conference. Tens of women from across the country and continent contributed to the conference proceedings covering a range of topics related to the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors.

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More News
BASA introduces its Scale-Up programme  BASA introduces its Scale-Up programme

Artists across South Africa show a deep sense of willingness to partner with businesses, but sometimes require guidance on exactly how to go about doing this. Through the programme, they will engage with shared value, research and building relationships that are sustainable to shift common thinking within the arts sector, and to expand their knowledge and skills within business exchange relations.

SA roadies conference coming up in May SA roadies conference coming up in May

THE South African Roadies Association (SARA) will be hosting Africa’s fourth Live Event Technical & Production Conference (LETPC 2018) from the 17 to 19 May 2018, at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg, the current home of the LETPC.

Saftas12: Winners take Golden Horn Saftas12: Winners take Golden Horn

THE 12th Annual South African Film and Television Awards took place on Saturday, 24 March 2018 at the Sun City Superbowl and was hosted by Thando Thabethe and Phat Joe.

Winners of the 53rd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards Winners of the 53rd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards

IT'S WORLD Theatre Day today, 27 March 2018, and this month the best in the business were recognised at the 53rd annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

We want your feedback: SACO Project Survey We want your feedback: SACO Project Survey

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is completing its first contracted cycle with the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) where it was tasked to develop of a cultural information system which continuously captures cultural data and monitors and evaluates government initiatives in the ACH sectors and CCIs.

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