South African Cultural Observatory

Ministerial Sector Consultation - Imbizo

BY 13.12.23

On 13 October 2023, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC), exhibited and presented at the Minister's Sectoral Consultation event (Imbizo) at the Miriam Makeba Centre of Performing Arts, in East London. The Imbizo was initiated by the Minister to engage and provide a platform for creatives to voice their concern and to look at new ways for recovery and betterment of the arts, culture and heritage sectors.  It also provides an opportunity to recognise and prevent the national department from implementing programmes in provinces, without aligning them to their specific needs.

The SACO Executive Director, Unathi Lutshaba, was amongst those to present on precarious work and social contracts, focusing on the main findings, key challenges, and recommendations in the form of short-term policy options.

Also in attendance with the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Zizi Kodwa, was MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe, Chief Director, Charles Mabaso, Mayor Cllr Princess Faku. The delegation was accompanied by renowned musicians Bethusile,industry veteran Liliian Dube andrepresentatives from other DSAC entities, including the National Film Association (NFA). Space was also allocated for creatives to exhibit and sell their products as representatives of the creative and cultural industries in the province. All districts within the Eastern Cape were represented and robust discussions took place, where creative practitioners were heard by the Minister and their challenges noted

The Minister reminded practitioners that they are an important contributor to the GDP. As outlined in the  SACO 2020 Economic Mapping Study paper, the sector contributes 2.97 % to the country’s GDP with the Eastern Cape province contributing 7.5% to the overall CCI GDP (just over R12 billion). There are various challenges faced by the department and the sector, that he is actively addressing, to ensure he delivers on the mandate. An example he gave of one of the projects currently underway, is the Copyrights Amendment Bill. The Bill has been drafted by the Department of Trade and Industry, but will be implemented by DSAC. It is a complicated process, but DSAC is committed to ensuring these efforts are seen through to fruition, for the benefit of the sector.

In closing the event, Minister Kodwa acknowledged that the cultural and creative industries sector is crucial to nation building. He highlighted the reality and misalignment of trends, on how creatives and government should work together for the advancement of the creative economy and how events such as these, provide insight and an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges that creatives in the sector face. The Minister plans to forge ahead with a programme of Imbizo’s across the nation in the coming year, in an effort to bring together various cultural and creative stakeholders under one roof, to map the way forward for the creative economy in the provinces.

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