Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE): Cultural Events

South Africa
Department of Sport, Arts and Culture
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
The purpose of MGE is to make strategic investments to optimize the economic benefit of the arts in South Africa. By improving investment in key areas of the creative economy, it is anticipated that job creation and productivity will be enhanced and the sector’s global competitiveness will be increased. Cultural Events is one of the work streams in the key MGE area titled ‘Audience development and consumption’. The cultural events work stream supports large and small-scale local, regional and national events that promote the arts, culture and heritage and that contribute to local economic development, job creation and the development of audiences. The specific objectives of the work stream are to: − To upscale existing events and festivals allowing increased diversity of cultural offerings, enhanced quality of productions, and the extension of event timeframes. − To support projects with obvious economic and social benefit for the location. − To increase the audience and exposure that each production receives. − To increase the number of jobs created, livelihoods supported and income generated through the events. − To enhance the social cohesion in the country by promoting diversity of content and audiences in specific locations of the project. − To enhance skills development opportunities of Creative and Cultural industries practitioners.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
In implementing key programmes it is anticipated that the overall impact of the programme on the creative economy will be: • Positioning the arts as a valuable contributor to economic growth and job creation. • Stimulating economic development. • Creating linkages with creative industries across the African continent as well as internationally to seek exchanges and enrich South African arts, culture and heritage practitioners and businesses. • Promote sustainability across the arts, Culture and Heritage sector. • Raising the profile of South Africa as a destination for cultural consumers and increasing tourism (visitor) volume and spend. • Building the professional capacity of the sector. • Improving the production and dissemination of local content.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Cultural and creative professionals
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?: 
• While many of the organisers (especially Flagships and Festivals and Events) are established and have been involved in organising events for long periods, the DAC MGE programme has also assisted new organisers in the cultural event/ activity arena who have been planning the event for three years or less. This suggests that the DAC MGE is creating opportunities for more cultural events/ activities to be held in South Africa, contributing to the objective of increasing and diversifying cultural offerings. • Different types of cultural genres and aspects including established events, festivals, exhibitions, performances, workshops and training events (mainly targeting youth and schools) are being supported by DAC MGE funding. The different types, sizes and spatial/ geographical spread of the Festivals and Events is meeting the broader objective of contributing to increased diversity of cultural offerings. It is important to note that in terms of spatial distribution of the events/ activities, Gauteng was dominant with close to a third of the events/ activities surveyed located in this province. • In terms of employment, more established events and Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) generally employed more persons permanently. In total, organisations that received MGE funding during the three-year study period employ 3 388 people in permanent jobs. Furthermore, DAC MGE funded event organisers employ a total of 25 941 additional persons specifically for the events, 1 473 permanent persons and 24 558 temporary workers per year. This aligns to the DAC MGE objective of promoting job creation and upskilling opportunities. The DAC MGE funded events are often one of the main activities or the only activity the organisations are involved in. This underscores the importance of DAC MGE funding in promoting and supporting the diversity of cultural events/ activities in South Africa. However, there was a lack of disaggregated employment information (by gender, historical racial category and location of additional persons employed) both in the information provided in the close out templates for reporting as well as information that respondents could provide during the interviews. The available results do suggest that employment was generally locally based, that both women and men are being exposed to job opportunities in the cultural sector, and that black Africans are key beneficiaries, as the DAC MGE programme intended. However, most of the employment is temporary/ casual and are generally lower paying jobs.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Cinema/ Audiovisual Arts
Performing Arts
Visual Arts
Transversal Priority(ies)