South African Cultural Observatory
Capstone Report

Results and Policy Implications

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Upcoming SACO Workshops

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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 June 2020

As we all know and have somewhat even become accustomed to it, due to social distancing measures put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 26, we have all not able to travel to any venue to consume any form of arts and culture products. Libraries, archives, museums, films and television productions, theatre and orchestra performances, fashion shows, concert tours, zoos as well as music and arts festivals have all been closed or come to a complete halt. Could this signal a death knell for the sector? The answer has to be a Big No, at least not if we can help it as consumers and key stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries.

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Latest News

COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector

World over, sport is recognised by many societies and governments as a major contributor to economic and social development. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sports of all types across the world and is likely to have a major negative impact.

Mapping the Economic Value of the Creative Industry

In many countries, the growing importance of the cultural and creative industries is increasingly being recognised. The SA Cultural Observatory recently released its second Economic Mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa 2020 (Economic Mapping Study).

An Early Assessment of The Impact of The Covid-19 Crisis on The Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa

As of March 2020, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) conducted a survey targeting businesses and freelancers in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This survey was undertaken so that the Observatory could ascertain the impact of the measures that were put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Youth is not wasted on Young Creatives: The Creative Economy is where South Africa’s Youth will be national carriers in a Post-Covid-19 world

Young Creatives in South Africa have heaps of challenges stacked up against them. Their reality is like that of many youth and people whose livelihoods depend on informal labour practises and gig work. Nothing makes this more evident than the effects of Covid-19 on life as we know it. However it is through their infinite potential, innovative capabilities and resilience that the country is endowed with the means to solve the complex problems in the ever-uncertain present and towards a Fourth Industrial future.

Call to Curators – SA Cultural Observatory Researches Debates About The Repatriation Of Museum Artifacts

The debates about the restitution of museum artifacts taken from African countries, mostly during the colonial era, has a long history. However, it was brought to high prominence again recently by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who said, in an address to 800 students in Burkina Faso on 28th of November 2017: “I cannot accept that a large part of cultural heritage from several African countries is in France. There are historical explanations for that, but there are no valid justifications that are durable and unconditional”.

SA Cultural Observatory releases report on the impact of Covid-19 on Cultural and Creative Industries

In late March, soon after President Ramaphosa announced several measures to limit the spread of coronavirus in the country, the South African Cultural Observatory undertook a study to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 and associated measures on the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This took the form of both the online survey and economic impact assessment to find out what impact these measures were having on businesses and freelancers in the sector, the adaptation strategies, and the most useful kinds of support that could be provided. The study, the most comprehensive for the sector, was undertaken between March 30 and May 4, 2020 and provides an early assessment of the impact of the shutdown on the sector.


Word from DAC

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: Sector relief framework and criteria

Our country is dealing with a national emergency, as all efforts of the government, private sector and civil society combine to fight the health disaster that threatens to ensue with the rapid spread of COVID-19 across our provinces.

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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
Don’t let Covid-19 kill SA’s cultural sector and its economic value Don’t let Covid-19 kill SA’s cultural sector and its economic value

Cultural and creative industries are being recognised for their contribution to GDP, job creation and innovation

Cape Town’s creative firms are business innovators – but they’re vulnerable Cape Town’s creative firms are business innovators – but they’re vulnerable

Cape Town was chosen for a pilot study because of its reputation as a creative city. The concept refers to clusters of creative firms, but also includes events and skills.

Idris Elba to host Africa Day Benefit Concert at Home Idris Elba to host Africa Day Benefit Concert at Home

YouTube and ViacomCBS Networks Africa are teaming up with actor Idris Elba to host the Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home.

South African Cultural Observatory releases 2nd Economic Study on Creative Industries, 20 May South African Cultural Observatory releases 2nd Economic Study on Creative Industries, 20 May

The SA Cultural Observatory report, the The Economic Mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa 2020, shows that over 1.136 million are employed in the sector. This represents 7% of all jobs in SA. These are figures before Covid-19 pandemic which will have a bearing on employment across the economy.

How SA Music Professionals can make the most of the lockdown How SA Music Professionals can make the most of the lockdown

To our Friends, Colleagues, Artists, Venue Owners and Promoters and all those active in the Music Business community. This letter is a proposed checklist for all of you who want to do your best to use self-isolation to maximise our time to ensure we can come back into the world stronger than ever before.

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