Use culture to create jobs, says minister

2011-04-04 14:59

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.

  • Straight Forward - 2011-04-04 15:46

    The majority of S Africans are devoid of any culture. Look at belief of the tokoloshe etc.

  • Gorilla - 2011-04-04 15:50

    Presently culture is slowing down business. Culture is also the reason I have been burgled 3 times since Christmas. Lets use a new work ethic rather, together with people who are willing to work for a living and not drain a business and it's resources.

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-04-04 16:41

    Culture - There is no work culture in this country unlike China where you are proud to have a job - Ask yourself why all these immigrants are taking away jobs from our people. Wake up Cosatu your people are losing jobs because of prohibitive employment regulation.

  • Wow! - 2011-04-04 16:55

    I am not sure culture related jobs have the ability to grow further. We are saturated with masks, baskets and stone carvings. Only if we can raise the value proposition will it work AND I don't think it is there. Yep - there is always room for extraordinary pieces BUT the general product offerings - I think we have enough of that

      anaid - 2011-04-04 18:29

      Art education in S.A. is dismal indeed, and little inspiration and sound tuition are widely available. African Art from higher up the continent is much more than beads, baskets, masks and stone 'tourist' carvings. The word 'culture' has had it's meaning narrowed by politics. If the minister is referring to the discovery in Europe, America and many other countries that good Art and artistic work generally, are big sectors in their economies, he should look into Art education and give it the support and input it needs and deserves. Art civilizes peoples.

  • reyrey - 2011-04-05 16:00

    I have heard the term "job creation" creation for long now, yet i see more poverty...

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