South African Cultural Observatory

Transformation and Job Creation in the Cultural & Creative Industries in South Africa

BY Jen Snowball, Alan Collins 28.11.17

THE Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) have been hailed as offering great potential to create jobs and to be socially inclusive. This study investigates to what extent the CCIs in South Africa are moving towards more inclusive and racially diverse patterns in their ownership and employment profiles. Using a survey of 2400 randomly selected CCIs, it compares ownership and employment patterns across the six UNESCO Cultural Domains to determine their contribution to black economic empowerment (transformation) within the various domains.

Since artistic success is defined by individual talent, or merit, the CCIs should be one sector that is especially open to, and appreciative of, social diversity in terms of race, class, cultural group and gender. However, recent studies in both the UK and the US have revealed that employment in the CCIs is heavily dominated by middle class people, and is not nearly as diverse in terms of other characteristics, which is what had been expected. Since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994, transformation of firm ownership, previously dominated by white people, to include more black, coloured and Indian/Asian-origin South Africans, has been an important part of achieving greater economic equality and social cohesion, as well as being more representative of the cultures of the majority of the population.

This study, therefore, investigates to what extent the CCIs in South Africa are moving towards more inclusive and racially diverse patterns in their ownership and employment profiles. Using a survey of 2400 randomly selected CCIs, it compares ownership and employment patterns across the six UNESCO (2009) Cultural Domains to determine their contribution to black economic empowerment (transformation) within the various domains.

In terms of ownership, CCI firms in South Africa showed quite a lot of variation across the different Domains (Figure 1). Firms who had at least one black (meaning black African, coloured or Indian/Asian person) owner varied from 65% for Performance and Celebration to 44% for Books and Press. Firms with at least one woman owner varied from 31% (Audio-Visual and Interactive Media) to 58% (Visual Arts and Crafts). Youth (up to 34 years old) ownership was most prevalent in Performance and Celebration (45%) and least likely in Books and Press.

Figure 1. Ownership patterns in South African CCI firms

A pattern in CCI ownership begins to emerge: More commercial sectors, such as Books and Press, Audio-Visual and Interactive Media, and Design and Creative Services, are less likely to have at least one black owner and at least one female owner. Less commercial sectors, especially Performance and Celebration and Visual Arts and Crafts, tend to be more diverse in terms of ownership. To be representative of the labour force, black ownership should be at least 66%. Only Performance and Celebration and Visual Arts and Crafts achieve this level.

As found in other studies of the CCIs, a higher proportion of employees in this sector had completed tertiary education than in the general working population. This was especially the case for Audio-Visual and Interactive Media, Books and Press and Design and Creative Services. Employees in these sectors were also more likely to have completed formal, certified industry training than employees in other sectors. This might go some way towards explaining why these more commercial sectors are also those with the lowest levels of racial diversity: a much higher percentage of black South Africans are in the low-income households, which constrains access to good quality school and higher education.

A significant proportion of employees in the sector work on a contract or part-time basis. However, this varies dramatically across Domains. For example, the vast majority of employees in Cultural and Natural Heritage (88%) and Books and Press (81%) are full time workers. However, Audio-Visual and Interactive Media employees are mostly working on contract (55%), and more than half in Performance and Celebration are working on a part-time or contract basis.

Domains with the highest percentage of firms who receive financial support from local, provincial or national government were Cultural and Natural Heritage (47%) and Books and Press (39%). The more commercial “creative” industries (Audio-Visual and Interactive Media, and Design and Creative Services), which also have the highest average turnover, receive fewer grants.

A “transformation score” was constructed for each firm that took into account ownership and employee demographics. With the transformation score as the dependent variable, a regression was run to determine what the characteristics of firms with a high transformation score were. More transformed firms were more likely to be in the Visual Arts and Crafts sector, be receiving some form of government grant, be operating in the informal sector, have younger owners, and were not members of a professional association.

Thus, it is possible to conclude that CCIs are making some contribution to ownership and employee transformation in South Africa. However, the ownership and employment profile of firms in most UNESCO Domains are still not representative of the labour force make-up of the country. There is also evidence that firms with a higher percentage of black owners and employees and female owners (that is, a higher transformation score) are struggling most, although they are more likely to be receiving some form of public support.

Table 1: CCI Firm Characteristics.

The article is based on:

Snowball, J., Collins, A. and Tarentaal, D. (2017) Transformation and job creation in the cultural and creative industries in South Africa. Cultural Trends. Pages 1-15 | Published online: 29 Sep 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2017.1380706.

About the authors:

Jen Snowball, Professor, Department of Economics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa; Researcher: South African Cultural Observatory.

Alan Collins, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Delon Tarentaal, Department of Economics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

 

Rhodes University joins consortium in SACO tender win Rhodes University joins consortium in SACO tender win

A FIVE-YEAR tender to run the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has been granted to a consortium of universities including Rhodes University, Nelson Mandela University, University of Fort Hare, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

READ MORE
Interview with SACO Chief Research Strategist Jeanette Snowball Interview with SACO Chief Research Strategist Jeanette Snowball

READ an interview with SACO Chief Research Strategist Jeanette Snowball in a monograph on cultural participation and wellbeing by the Social Observatory of la Caixa. Prof Snowball talks about how “one of the functions of art is to open up debates in society”.

READ MORE

‘Creativity is potential currency in the fourth industrial revolution’ ‘Creativity is potential currency in the fourth industrial revolution’

THE world as we know it is changing. We are already living in the technological future. The fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally disrupting the way we think, work and interact with each other and, in it, culture and creativity can be one of the major currencies, argue Prof Richard Haines (SA Cultural Observatory CEO) and Rosemary Mangope (National Arts Council CEO).

READ MORE
‘Creative Industries can drive economic growth, job creation’ – report ‘Creative Industries can drive economic growth, job creation’ – report

SOUTH African Cultural Observatory (SACO) Chief Research Strategist Prof Jen Snowball’s recent paper with Serge Hasidi on cultural employment in South Africa explores the role of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in facilitating job creation and economic growth in South Africa.

READ MORE

More News
The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye

At a recent SA Cultural Observatory workshop in the Vhembe district in Sibasa, Limpopo, we came across the definition of an artist- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye. Currently based at the Vhembe Arts and Culture centre in Thohoyandou, the unassuming Mainganye is an accomplished painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer, arts teacher and mentor with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry.

Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility

Various partners have come together to do their bit to encourage and engender the culture of book reading. During the month of September the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), Exclusive Books and Bargain Books all participated in initiatives to encourage South Africans to buy and read books.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA

In order to support the growth of the industry, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture continues to invest substantial resources in the sector. The Department has invested over R13 million to assist the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA).

Executive Direction Executive Direction

As we celebrate heritage month, as we visit various heritage sites, as we remember the journey walked and traversed by our forebears, it is wise to take to heart the words of the Spanish philosopher and essayist George Santayana when he said that “those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes, and those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it”.

Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style

Every other year as we celebrate heritage month in September, South Africans are spoilt for choice of arts, heritage and cultural experiences. With our rich heritage, we have a wide variety of cultural consumptions to feast on.

Connect with us