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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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 - 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.

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Latest News

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.

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.

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

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

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.


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
Executive Direction - December 2021 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.

The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries - December 2021 The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries - December 2021

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.

SACO Releases Covid-19 Impact Report in Soweto 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 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 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).

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