South Africa: Introduction
The long-term vision of the government of South Africa is to develop and preserve the country’s culture, with a view to ensuring social cohesion and nation-building. To this end, the Department of Arts and Culture seeks to improve economic and other development opportunities through mutually beneficial partnerships both nationally and globally, whilst contributing to social development.
The Department of Arts and Culture works to create an environment conducive to the growth and development of South Africa’s artistic, cultural and historic landscape. Among its key objectives are the improvement, re-orientation and expansion of the arts and cultural sector, to serve South Africa’s cultural needs.
Through its Investing in Culture (IIC) Programme, the department aims to provide opportunities for unemployed people through training and job creation in arts, culture and heritage. It provides access to markets and skills as a tool for urban regeneration, rural development, and job creation. The Department of Arts and Culture has, through it investments in the Culture Programme, funded and supported more than 390 projects totalling 285 million Rand since 2005. About 10,938 beneficiaries were provided with job opportunities, primarily in the craft sector. About 45% of jobs were created for women, 39% for youth and 4% for people living with disabilities. The sector prides itself on its potential to create sustainable jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, even in areas where people have no, or minimal formal education.