South African Cultural Observatory

The Mapping Study 2018

BY 06.12.19

The Observatory is tasked with measuring and providing reliable information on the economic value of South Africa’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This we do through conducting research about the sector in line with the research agenda. In this edition, as we shall do in future, we highlight key findings from some of our research outputs.

The Mapping Study 2018

Every two years the Observatory undertakes an in-depth sector-wide economic study - the Mapping Study. In 2018, we produced a key report that analyses the entire sector, particularly as it relates to its contribution to the SA economy and GDP.

The Mapping Study 2018 found that the CCIs contribute R63 billion per year to the economy, which represents 1.7% of total GDP. The study showed that the cultural sector was growing faster than the rest of the economy. The CCIs had an average growth rate of 4.8% per year between 2011 and 2016, compared to only 1.6% per year for the whole economy over this period. The largest domain, in terms of production or value added, was Design and Creative Services, which makes up nearly half of the CCI value in South Africa.

This was followed by Audio-Visual and Interactive Media (16%) and Books and Press (13%). At the time of the study, the total number of people employed in the creative economy was estimated to be just over one million (6.94% of total employment in 2016), which included all three parts of the Cultural Trident:

  • those working in cultural jobs in a cultural or creative firm (such as a director in a film company),
  • those working in cultural jobs, but not in a cultural or creative firm (such as a designer in a car manufacturing company), and
  • those working in non-cultural jobs in a cultural or creative firm (such as an accountant in a theatre company).

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