South African Cultural Observatory
The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva

The SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director, Unathi Lutshaba & Head of Research, Prof Jen Snowball participate in UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva. The meeting was first of its kind & was aimed at bringing together experts from various countries to discuss the relationship between creative industries and economic development.

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Research Agenda

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Upcoming SACO Workshops

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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 2019

2019. What a year it was. It has been an exciting year for the Arts, Heritage, Cultural and Creative sector.

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Latest News

Unlocking the Growth Potential of the Online Gaming Industry in South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

In 2018, the global gaming industry consisted of 2.3 billion consumers, who spent nearly US$ 138 billion on games. Although the South African gaming industry is small, it is growing at an exponential rate.

Policy Implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution for the Cultural and Creative Economy

Future developments within the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th Industrial Revolution) entails a high level of complexity and uncertainty, particularly in relation to global economics of scale that indirectly have an impact on the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs).

The Mapping Study 2018

Every two years the Observatory undertakes an in-depth sector-wide economic study - the Mapping Study. In 2018, we produced a key report that analyses the entire sector, particularly as it relates to its contribution to the SA economy and GDP.

South African Festival Economic Impact Calculator

Summer is upon us and many event organisers are hard at work doing their best to ensure that they deliver the most memorable events.

Trevor Noah nominated for Grammy Award

Trevor Noah’s star continues to shine beyond our shores, a confirmation that our cultural and creative industries products can be successfully exported and traded anywhere in the world.

GQ Magazine Recognizes SA Artists

The South African arts, culture and creative industry was a net beneficiary when GQ Magazine SA recognised several artists at the inaugural GQ Men of the Year Awards ceremony held in Johannesburg on December 1st.


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
The arts sector is economic gold The arts sector is economic gold

The arts and culture sector is at the frontline of freedom of expression. It is not only a barometer of a healthy democracy but also a significant employer in South Africa.

Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) funding  Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) funding

The application period for 2020/2021 Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) funding from the Department of Arts and Culture has been extended from 11th to 18th November 2019.

Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application

The DAC bursary programme at the Nelson Mandela University wishes to inform all prospective language studies students that the DAC bursary programme for 2020 is now open.

SA museums have come long way SA museums have come long way

The main function of museums has traditionally revolved around collecting, preserving, researching and displaying objects. To control a museum means precisely to control the representation of a community and its highest values and truths. It is also the power to define the relative standing of individuals within that community. Museums are more than containers of things; rather, they are complex reflections of the cultures that produced them, including their politics, social structures, and systems of thought. Cultural institutions, like museums, can be powerful in telling the “authorised” version of our histories, in shaping national identity and in building social cohesion, as well as contributing to education and research through their collection, archiving and conservation of artefacts.

The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva

The SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director, Unathi Lutshaba & Head of Research, Prof Jen Snowball participate in UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva. The meeting was first of its kind & was aimed at bringing together experts from various countries to discuss the relationship between creative industries and economic development.

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