South African Cultural Observatory

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

BY 29.06.20

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. The survey also sought to understand the adaptation strategies that the sector was using to cope with the pandemic, and what kind of support the industry would find useful. Run over a period of two months, the survey yielded interesting insights for the industry (Covid19 impact on CCIs).

An overwhelming number of the participants (82%) had a turnover of about R525 000, 00 per annum. Very few, (12%) of those surveyed indicated that they could continue with 50% or more of their normal business activities, i.e. face-to-face operations. This was largely because more than two-thirds (69%) of the participants were involved face-to-face activities which were not permitted. The businesses using mostly the face-to-face mode were also less likely to be able to conduct their business online, work from home, do other work, or use the time to build up stock. They were also less likely to make use of their reserve funds and more likely to depend on the financial support of family, it was learned.

A very small percentage (15%) of the employers and freelancers who completed the survey believed that they would see an increase in demand for their products and/or services because they were able to conduct their business online.

A sizable number (40%) of the respondents were now using their reserves to survive, while 21% said they were relying on family and friends for support.

At least a third (35%) said that they would make use of the shutdown time to move their businesses to online platforms, whilst about (32%) said they would use this time to upskill themselves.  The understanding of those wanting to move to online platforms is that the online environment would expose them to an even larger, newer and geographically diverse audience.  

The majority (79%) of the employers and freelancers claimed to know about the government support that was being offered at the time, however, only a quarter (25%) of them believed that they qualified for it largely due to the fact that their businesses have remained informal.

In economic terms, the study shows a direct impact on total output of the Covid-19 shutdown on the sector to be just over R53 billion. The sector shutdown is expected to reduce South Africa’s GDP (direct and indirect impact) by R99,7 billion in 2020. 

Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa has decided to uphold the 23 name changes in the Eastern Cape as gazetted by the Department on 23 February 2021.

READ MORE
Industry Highlights Industry Highlights

On 21 June 2021, a uniquely South African documentary, The State of the Arts – The Forgotten Industry, was released to coincide with World Music Day.

READ MORE

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

The SA Cultural Observatory was established primarily to undertake economic research for the cultural and creative industries. We publish our reports in various media platforms, including this newsletter, to benefit as many cultural practitioners as possible.

READ MORE
International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021 International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021

Are you hosting an event, discussion, debate, conference or any other celebratory happening to mark the UN's 2021 International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development? Let us know about it and we will add it to our database of events happening throughout the year. Your event will also be logged in our report to the United Nations General Assembly.

READ MORE

More News
Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes Minister Nathi Mthethwa Approves The Eastern Cape Name Changes

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa has decided to uphold the 23 name changes in the Eastern Cape as gazetted by the Department on 23 February 2021.

Industry Highlights Industry Highlights

On 21 June 2021, a uniquely South African documentary, The State of the Arts – The Forgotten Industry, was released to coincide with World Music Day.

The South African Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries The South African Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries

The SA Cultural Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. We publish our reports 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 about the sector.

Executive Direction - June 2021 Executive Direction - June 2021

Stats SA’s latest quarterly labour force survey (1st quarter 2021) shows that South Africa’s unemployment rate, using the expanded definition of unemployment, increased by 0.6% to 43,2% in the first quarter of 2021. The figure is even higher amongst the youth (15 -34 years), with unemployment rate reported to be 46,3% for the same period.

Call for input: Mapping Study on Museum and Fashion Sectors Call for input: Mapping Study on Museum and Fashion Sectors

The French Embassy and French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) have initiated a mapping study of the creative and cultural industries in South Africa, with an initial focus on the museum and fashion sectors.

Connect with us