South African Cultural Observatory

Aims and Objectives

Primary Objective

  • To advance applied research in the field of cultural information systems.

Secondary Objectives

  • To support existing or developing information networks by enhancing collaborative research projects between multidisciplinary teams.
  • To provide support to the sector by becoming a holistic repository, collector and developer of knowledge, information and evidence concerning the content, structure and dynamics of the sector with a view to contributing to employment and sustainable development.

Expected Outcomes

  • To Champion Evidence: To be South Africa’s primary source of cultural statistics and key indicators to assess the value of the sector and track changes over time and make comparisons between different evidence bases; and to model evidence in such a way as to yield new insights .
  • To Influence Policy: To analyse trends to inform future policy and resource allocation decisions; measure the performance of the sector to allow global comparability; interface with the other spheres of government on cultural statistics policy matters; support the DAC in performance measure indicators of the cultural industries and investigate the impact of existing and potential cultural policies on the development and growth of the country.
  • To Share Insight: To provide accessible interactive database 'knowledge and information' for users and target groups; to generate trust and social capital so that there is confidence in cultural indicators and acceptance of public statistics; to become a research hub, clearing house for new and innovative research projects for cultural industries in South Africa; to provide critical cultural information on sustaining cultural and social cohesion trends in South Africa; to collaborate with key observatories in Africa and elsewhere and to stimulate debates and improve knowledge exchange in seminars and conferences.
  • To Build Capacity: To provide technical assistance for strengthening the capacity of the sector practitioners, through networking; to educate through the online observatory utilising the best practice in user-friendly information and educative links for further reading; to provide training and development to all local authorities on the gathering of cultural statistics and information; to provide support for multidisciplinary research in the creative economy and other related issues.
More News
The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye

At a recent SA Cultural Observatory workshop in the Vhembe district in Sibasa, Limpopo, we came across the definition of an artist- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye. Currently based at the Vhembe Arts and Culture centre in Thohoyandou, the unassuming Mainganye is an accomplished painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer, arts teacher and mentor with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry.

Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility

Various partners have come together to do their bit to encourage and engender the culture of book reading. During the month of September the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), Exclusive Books and Bargain Books all participated in initiatives to encourage South Africans to buy and read books.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA

In order to support the growth of the industry, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture continues to invest substantial resources in the sector. The Department has invested over R13 million to assist the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA).

Executive Direction Executive Direction

As we celebrate heritage month, as we visit various heritage sites, as we remember the journey walked and traversed by our forebears, it is wise to take to heart the words of the Spanish philosopher and essayist George Santayana when he said that “those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes, and those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it”.

Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style

Every other year as we celebrate heritage month in September, South Africans are spoilt for choice of arts, heritage and cultural experiences. With our rich heritage, we have a wide variety of cultural consumptions to feast on.

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