Client: Department of Economic Development and Tourism – Western Cape Provincial Government
Duration: October – November 2007
“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” Ben Okri, Nigerian author.
These words are indicative of human beings’ ability to transform and transcend hardship and suffering through creativity. Harnessing the creative potential of individuals and collectives in South Africa by advancing the creative industries is one of the objectives of the Western Cape Provincial Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT).
The creative industries – arts, crafts, design, fashion, film and video, advertising, architecture, music, performing arts, publishing, television and radio and others – are important drivers of the economy. It is for this reason that the DEDT contracted Creative Consulting & Development Works to conduct in-depth desktop research on the creative industries as an economic sector.
The need for this research sprang from earlier research that had been conducted in 2004 and 2005, whereby fourteen core economic sectors within South Africa’s economy were identified – of which the creative industries was one. From this research, the Micro-economic Development Strategy (MEDS) was developed. Through this strategy, the DEDT sought to support the creative industries to promote economic development and transformation in the Western Cape.
Research showed how creative industries contribute significantly to growth in other countries. Studying these examples of best practice gave insight on the extent of the industries’ economic impact. Through these models of best practice South Africa, particularly the Western Cape, can learn from these countries and develop policies that can harness the creative potential in the province.
The value of this research can be seen by the various ways in which the creative industries provide opportunities for dealing with unemployment. Through the MEDS, the provincial government aims to create at least 42,000 work opportunities in the creative industries by 2015. The creative industries encompass the following: music, film, broadcasting, handicrafts, design-based activities, computer software and games that are based in culture.
The Western Cape is a cultural creative hub and is ideally placed to be a leader in promoting economic development and transformation in South Africa.