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THE cultural and creative industries (CCI) are often misunderstood. Not anymore. The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), based at Nelson Mandela University, has developed a baseline cultural information system to help practitioners, policy-makers and planners better understand the South African cultural and creative economy.

Now it wants to share what it has learnt over three years of conducting analysis and mapping the industries.

The think tank, a research arm of the Department of Arts and Culture steered by the University, is about to launch a round of information dissemination workshops which will tour South Africa to showcase the research conducted. It will also use the opportunity host ‘listening sessions’ to better understand the status quo of the creative practitioner in South Africa.

The first stop is the Witbank Civic Theatre in Emalahleni on 27 November followed by a workshop at Nahakwe Lodge in Mamaila, Limpopo on 29 November. The workshops are an important part of connecting with the industry and also sharing critical research which will help support everyone working in the creative sphere, said Unathi Lutshaba, SACO Executive Director.

“We have a strong bedrock of data that the industry can use, but we are also looking forward to the next five years of research we are mandated to do. This means we need to discuss the most pressing industry issues with everyone involved, so people working in the industry are able to shape the research debates and direction.”

The full day workshops cover five topics including:  An introduction to the South African Cultural Observatory and its research; an overview of the National Research Agenda; the importance of Intellectual Property in the creative industries; the challenges and opportunities for artists and creatives; and insights from marketing, business and best practices experts.

“We also encourage practitioners, policy-makers and planners to attend the workshop to understand the role the CCIs play in growth & development, job creation, transformation, and social cohesion,” Lutshaba said.

Find out more and register here:


Date:    27 November 2018

Time:    8:30am - 4pm

Venue:  Witbank Civic Theatre, Smuts Ave, CBD, Emalahleni, 1035


  041 504 4932 by 13 November 2018

  Alternatively, send an SMS or WhatApp on 0636397653


Date:     29 November 2018

Time:     8:30am - 4pm

Venue:   Nahakwe Logde


  041 504 4932 by 13 November 2018

  Alternatively, send an SMS or WhatApp on 0636397653

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: The South African Cultural Observatory kicks off its nationwide information sharing sessions toward the end of November, starting in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777