Creative economy contributes R90.5bn to GDP

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pretoria – South Africa’s creative economy has contributed R90.5 billion directly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the contribution was driven primarily by the design and creative services, cultural and natural heritage as well as information, books and press clusters.

Speaking on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, Minister Mthethwa said the creative industries sector contributes 2.9 percent to the GDP.

“The fiscus can expect to receive R24.84 billion per annum in tax revenue as a result of the business economy generated by the creative industries sector,” he said.

The creative economy accounted for a total number of 562 726 jobs in 2013/2014.

“The design and creative services and cultural and natural heritage cluster have the largest employment impact, contributing a combined 54 percent to total employment,” he said.

The creative economy contributes 3.6 percent to the total employment.

The Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with other government stakeholders in the private sector and civil society will be working to alleviate challenges in the sector so that it can make a major contribution to radical economic transformation.

“The primary challenges facing the creative economy, consistent with many studies over the last few years, is a lack of financial resources, lack of access to technology and a lack of access to markets,” Minister Mthethwa said.

In 2014/15, the Department of Arts and Culture supported 22 national and regional flagship events such as the National Arts Festival and the Cape Town international Jazz Festival.

A range of regional festivals such as the Kalahari Desert Festival in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga Comes Alive in Mpumalanga, MACUFE in the Free State and the Marula Festival in Limpopo were also supported by the department.

“These events are catalysts for economic development given that artists are reliant on events for income and economic sustainability,” he said.

According to an ongoing monitoring and evaluation programme, the National Arts Festival contributed R138.4 million to the local economy, while the Cape Town International Jazz Festival contributed R129.2 million.

“MACUFE contributed R64.3 million to the economy of Bloemfontein, the Marula Festival contributed R20.8 million to the local economy of Phalaborwa and Mpumalanga Comes Alive contributed R11 million to Mbombela,” Minister Mthethwa said. –