South African Cultural Observatory
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Department of Arts and Culture

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Nelson Mandela University

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Rhodes University

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University of Fort Hare

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SPECIAL FEATURES

South African Cultural Observatory

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is a national statistical and socio-economic research project, established by the Department of Arts & Culture, with the purpose of developing a comprehensive cultural information system in South Africa. The South African Cultural Observatory is hosted by and based at the Nelson Mandela University, and co-hosted in partnership with Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare. The primary cultural domains, as idenitifed by UNESCO, such as arts, tourism, heritage, libraries and museums, are the main research focus of the SACO and such research will support the development of intellectual capacity across these sectors.

The key functions of the South African Cultural Observatory include the following:

  • Policy focused research (surveys, case studies)
  • Reviews of current programmes
  • M&E – impact of government spending
  • Collection of statistics (databases)
  • Physical and Online access
  • Networking, sharing, partnerships

Word from DAC

2017/18 Budget Vote Speech - Minister Nathi Mthethwa

SPEECH by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the Arts and Culture 2017/18 Budget Vote, Parliament, Cape Town. "Today, we meet here on a day which has significance in our history as the 23rd May marks the 23 anniversary of admission of our country as the 53rd member state of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU), in Tunis, Tunisia. It was at this historic gathering that Former President Nelson Mandela made the following commitments to heads of state and government..."

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Latest News

SA Cultural Observatory Creative Conference host announced

THE resilient and award-winning storyteller and producer, Asanda Magaqa, is the face of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) third International Conference, which she will host as master of ceremonies (MC) in March.

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”.

20th International Conference on Cultural Economics

CALL FOR PAPERS: 20th International Conference on Cultural Economics to be held in Melbourne is closing soon. The Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI) invites you to attend its 20th International Conference on Cultural Economics to be held at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia from Tuesday June 26th to Friday 29th, 2018.

SA creative economy conference submissions closing soon

THERE is increasing research that supports the argument that the creative and cultural industries are adding significantly to GDP growth, employment and social cohesion both nationally and around the world.

Sophie Mgcina Award winners make their mark

The Market Theatre Foundation’s Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award is barely five years old and already all its winners are taking the South African industry by storm as they continue to celebrate the indomitable spirit of the late artist, teacher and cultural activist, Sophie Mgcina.

Shukuma Mzansi II conference – dates changed

The dates of the Shukuma Mzansi! International Community Arts Centres Dialogue have been changed to Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 April 2018.


Note from the Culturalist - CEO

SA Cultural Observatory – By the Numbers

IT IS an exciting time for the South African Cultural Observatory led by a consortium headed by Nelson Mandela University. We are wrapping on what has been a three-year-long contract with the Department of Arts and Culture and we are preparing to bid to host the SACO again.

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The 360: News from around the world

Creative industries grew twice as fast as UK economy in 2015-16

UNITED KINGDOM: The creative industries grew at twice the rate of the wider economy in 2015-16, new British government statistics have claimed. Now worth £91.8 billion in terms of gross value added to the UK, the sector grew by 7.6% over the year, while the economy as a whole grew by 3.5% in the same period.

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Open Source: Latest research for download

Policy Monitoring Platform

UNESCO recently launched a 'Policy Monitoring Platform' which allows for easy access to policies and measures implemented in the context of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

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Progress Report: Updates on CO achievements

SACO launches video section on website

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has a growing body of videos showcasing not only the Department of Arts and Culture think tank, but its work, conferences and training videos.

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More News
The art of business and the business of art The art of business and the business of art

BASA celebrates 20 years of rich arts and business symbiosis with a research and learnings Colloquium in Johannesburg

Cape Town Carnival spinoffs in excess of R40m - report Cape Town Carnival spinoffs in excess of R40m - report

THE increasingly popular Cape Town Carnival is generating economic benefits for the city and creative industries, alongside social cohesion and stimulation of the creative economy.

‘Youth are missing major opportunities in creative sector’ ‘Youth are missing major opportunities in creative sector’

SOUTH AFRICAN youth are unaware of the job opportunities available in the creative and cultural industries (CCIs).

#SACOCOnf2018: Going beyond #SACOCOnf2018: Going beyond

WELCOME to the conference edition of the newsletter. This month we moved swifly to launch the SACO's 2018 Conference website, announce the conference theme, issue out a call for papers, and open registration. We have a very exciting international conference coming up that is both forward and backward looking as we seek of view 'Beyond the Creative Economy: Trends and Issues in National and Regional Economies’.

SAMRO bursaries help young musos live their dreams SAMRO bursaries help young musos live their dreams

THE SAMRO Foundation has cemented its commitment to investing in South African music by awarding five special bursaries to high-calibre students.

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