Use culture to create jobs, says minister
Johannesburg - The cultural and creative industry is one of the drivers of economic growth and job creation, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said on Monday.
"As the president indicated during the state of the nation address, the craft sector alone contributes more than R2bn to our country's gross domestic product," Mashatile said at a briefing.
"In addition, this sector provides jobs and income for approximately 38 000 people through an estimated 7 000 small enterprises," he said.
He was briefing the media about a conference on the repositioning of the arts, culture and heritage sector.
Mashatile said there was a need for research in the sector to be collected and analysed to provide an accurate picture of its contribution to the national economy.
A team was appointed in November to draft a strategy on how to "unleash" the potential of the cultural and creative industries to contribute to economic growth and job creation.
The strategy detailed how the sector would contribute to the national effort to create five million jobs within the next 10 years, as outlined in the new growth path, he said.
It would be presented at a national summit on the cultural and creative industries on April 14 and 15 at the Newton Cultural Precinct in Johannesburg.
Mashatile said the country would celebrate freedom month in April.
The theme this year was "working together to unite the nation, promote democracy and protect freedom".
Activities planned for the celebrations included social cohesion dialogues in Tshwane, a wreath-laying ceremony at Solomon Mahlangu Memorial Square and a commemorative rally in Moretele Park.
He said National Freedom Day celebrations would be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on April 27.
"As we celebrate freedom month, we will be celebrating the work we have done over the past 17 years to deepen democracy and freedom in our country," Mashatile said.
"We will be celebrating the progress we are making in building a national democratic society, a society that is united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous."
He urged all South Africans to participate in the local government elections on May 18, to promote democracy.