South African Cultural Observatory

Executive Direction - June 2022

BY 30.06.22

I am hopeful that as you read this edition of The Cultural Observer you are warm as this winter has been very chilly, with temperatures plummeting to close to zero degrees in some parts of the country. From our observations, it seems the wintry conditions do bring some opportunities for the creative sector as people gather indoors in warm places. Whether it is to listen to a live music band, watch a movie or being part of a poetry session sitting around a fire, there are opportunities for the consumption of our cultural goods.

As I write, the government, through the regulations announced by the Minister of Health, has removed virtually all the Covid-19 restrictions making it possible for the sector to be fully operational again. This bodes well for the recovery of the sector. As shown in our several sector reports over the last two years, the cultural and creative sector industries thrive in environments of social proximity and not social distance.

Over the last two months, our team at the South African Cultural Observatory has been criss-crossing the country sharing the findings of our latest reports, most particularly the Mapping Study report, with the industry and the media. I have witnessed the hunger and the excitement that pervades the entire industry. Cultural practitioners are itching to get back to the full mode of operation. Given the lockdown for the past two years, people want to go out and socialise. As people get the opportunity to go back and socialise, the majority will also be hungry for new cultural and creative products. They want to see new plays, listen to new music tunes at live shows, touch and feel new craft and sculptures or visit an art exhibition.

This essentially means there is likely to be higher demand for the products and services that are produced by our industry. The industry should thus take advantage of this demand surge even in the mist of the challenges that have been imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the depressed economic environment. It is time to dust-off our tools and get to work.

In the last edition, we spotlighted the Mapping Study report, and I mentioned my excitement with the profiling of the cultural and creative industry sector in the various provinces. In this edition, we have provided detailed highlights of the provincial profiles. This is in addition to the highlight of the key findings on the South African’s Animation Industry: Ecosystem Analysis report.

It will be amiss if I didn’t mention that the South African Cultural Observatory International Conference which we hosted prior to the Covid-19 pandemic is scheduled to return before the end of the year. Details of the conference will be announced in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout.

It is my hope that you will find this edition of The Cultural Observer as informative as the previous ones.

Until then,

Executive Direction - March 2022 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.

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.


Executive Direction - September 2021 Executive Direction - September 2021

As I write this, we are closing off the Heritage Month in SA, a period during which many South Africans make a deliberate effort to celebrate both their living and intangible cultural heritage in visible ways.

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.


More News
National Arts Festival Back in Face-to-Face mode National Arts Festival Back in Face-to-Face mode

As you read this the final cultural shows of National Arts Festival are possibly on stage in Makhanda. The National Arts Festival came back in a face-to-face format for the first time in two years.

ABSA opens new art gallery ABSA opens new art gallery

Absa has opened a new art gallery in the piazza of Towers Main in Johannesburg central business district as of May 2022. The Absa Art Gallery officially opened its doors with the first exhibition titled Voices: Past and Present.

James Ngcobo joins Joburg City Theatres James Ngcobo joins Joburg City Theatres

The award-winning actor and director James Ngcobo has joined Joburg City Theatres (JCT) as an artistic director. Ngcobo who was with the Market Theatre Foundation for nine years joins the JCT as of July 1 and will be responsible for developing and implementing an artistic vision for organisation’s 10 spaces.

Report Highlights Report Highlights

In this edition we highlight key findings from our recent reports. The reports are: a chapter from the Mapping Study that gives the provincial profile of the cultural and creative industry and the South African’s Animation Industry: Ecosystem Analysis.

SACO Releases CCI Mapping Study 2022 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.

Connect with us