South African Cultural Observatory

SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD

BY 22.01.19

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) was given a boost with last week’s release of the UN’s Creative Economy Outlook and Country Profile report, giving the institution a fitting recognition.   

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report highlights the trends in the international trade in the cultural and creative industries, and provides profiles for different countries with respect to performance and contribution of these industries in the various economies.  

 

On the release of the report, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mukhisa Kituyi, commented that “the creative economy is recognized as a significant sector and a meaningful contributor to national gross domestic product. It has spurred innovation and knowledge transfer across all sectors of the economy and is a critical sector to foster inclusive development”.

 

“The creative economy has both commercial and cultural value. Acknowledgement of this dual worth has led governments worldwide to expand and develop their creative economies as part of economic diversification strategies and efforts to stimulate economic growth, prosperity and well-being”, added Kituyi.

Some key report highlights relevant to South Africa are the following:

  • In 2014, the National Department of Arts and Culture established the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) to map the socio-economic impact of the arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors and the cultural and creative industries (CCls) in South Africa using innovative statistical methodologies, audits and research tools.
  • South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) report on cultural employment in South Africa explores the role of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCls) in facilitating job creation and economic growth in South Africa. The study, which used Statistics South Africa's (StatsSA) Labour Force Dynamics Survey using annual data from 2008 to 2014, found that the cultural and creative industries account for 2.93 % of employment in South Africa. This equates to 443,778 jobs, slightly more mining, which makes up 2.83% of employment in the country.
  • A later study (2018 Mapping Study) found that in 2015, cultural occupations made up 2.52% of all employment in South Africa. The bigger cultural sector also provided employment in non-cultural 'support' occupations for 4.2% of all those who had a job in 2015, meaning that altogether, the 'Cultural Economy' accounted for an estimated 6.72% of all employment in South Africa.
  • The South African film industry is particularly important. According to the NFVF 2017 Economic Impact of the SA film industry report, the industry had a direct impact of R4.4 billion (about $31 million) on economic production, leading to a rise in total production in the economy of approximately R12.2 billion (about $92 million). 3
  • As an economic powerhouse on the continent, South Africa also plays an important regional role in profiling creative trade and influencing emerging creative industry trends.

 

SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director, Unathi Lutshaba said “we are extremely proud and humbled that an organisation of the stature of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has recognised the work that the Observatory has been doing since its 2014 establishment”.

 

“In comparison, we are a young organisation that has yet to fully develop. We are thus encouraged that our work has found resonance an organisation of the stature of the UN. With this recognition, we can only grow and continue to make a meaningful contribution to the cultural and creative industries sector in South Africa, given the sector’s role in the economy as demonstrated in the report”, added Lutshaba.

 

           

The full report can be found and downloaded on the following link here. 

New administrator joins SACO team New administrator joins SACO team

THE South African Cultural Observatory welcomes Rene Derrocks to the team as the incoming new administrator. Rene has eight years’ experience in the tourism marketing environment.

READ MORE
Meet the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director Meet the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director

MEET the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director Unathi Lutshaba. Miss Lutshaba is a passionate economist and sociologist. She was recently appointed into the role of Executive Director of the South African Cultural Observatory, after two years as its Research Manager.

READ MORE

Cultural conference pulls creative economy into sharp focus Cultural conference pulls creative economy into sharp focus

DAY two of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) 2018 international conference delivered on its promise of deep analysis and critical and creative debates on the future of South Africa’s and the world’s creative economy. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, over 200 delegates swelled Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the second day of the cultural think-tank’s creative industry conference. Tens of women from across the country and continent contributed to the conference proceedings covering a range of topics related to the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors.

READ MORE
Young academics benefit from SACO scholarship programme Young academics benefit from SACO scholarship programme

THE cohort of young academics conducting creative economy research is expanding thanks to the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) successful scholarship and bursary scheme which has supported a total of 16 young scholars since 2015.

READ MORE

More News
Executive Direction Executive Direction

This year the International Women’s Day theme was #BalanceforBetter. It essentially talks to a balanced world being a better world.

Thesis ZA- the duo that is making big waves Thesis ZA- the duo that is making big waves

The Cape Town vocalist duo that makes Thesis ZA comprising Ondela Simakuhle and Ayanda Charlie made it into the final list of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2019.

Zandile Mzazi- one of SA’s best tradable talent Zandile Mzazi- one of SA’s best tradable talent

Eastern Cape has gifted the country and the arts and culture industry with the sensational soprano opera musician, Zandile Mzazi. Probably more widely known and celebrated abroad, Mzazi hails from a musical family in Elliot, and has performed to the A-list audiences across the globe.

A curator with an academic streak - Gabi Ngcobo A curator with an academic streak - Gabi Ngcobo

This month we celebrate Gabi Ngcobo, an independent curator, creative researcher and educator who was the curator of the tenth Berlin Biennale for contemporary art in Germany. Ngcobo, who teaches at the With School of Arts joined an illustrious list of past curators of the Berlin Biennale, among them Hans Ulrich Obrist and Ute Meta Bauer

AGE not detracting Dr Esther Mahlangu from her artistic exploits AGE not detracting Dr Esther Mahlangu from her artistic exploits

At her advanced age (83), Dr Esther Mahlangu is still making a significant impact in the world of arts. She was last month bestowed with the award of Officier de L'Ordre Arts et Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French ambassador to South Africa

Connect with us