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,

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