Cultural precincts

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Cultural Precinct
Consultative Conference Declaration
"Based on experience of establishing cultural precincts to date, nationally supported and locally implemented cultural precincts will be established. These precincts will be linked to places and sites throughout the country."
Background to the project
Cultural precincts are aimed at providing a conducive and enabling environment for the production and consumption of arts and culture. This will create a demand for commercial enterprises (cafés, restaurants, entertainment) and thereby attract visitors and tourist to the neighbourhood. Such precincts enhance social cohesion through the collective consumption of arts, culture and heritage in public spaces. They also contribute to infrastructure development, urban renewal and viable communities. By their very nature, cultural precincts are multifaceted and have the potential to contribute to a range of national imperatives such as job creation, economic development and crime reduction.
The objective of a cultural precinct is to provide local and surrounding communities, the broader city community and tourists with places to meet and be together – enjoying a diverse range of culture and cultural offerings, learning, exploring and interacting with cultural and creative activities and people, eating and drinking, shopping and socialising – in an environment that is green (leafy streets and parks), in streets that are pedestrian friendly, in trendy cafés, restaurants, bars, speciality shops, galleries, museums, theatres and music venues. To attract the widest range of patrons and audience it is important that a precinct offer both free activities (open-air events, etc.), which attract people to the area, and charged activities. It provides the meeting point for key urban strategies, from local economic development, iconographic, community, environmental, and educational to cultural and artistic.

Exit employment opportunities created/to be created

It is estimated that a small number of full-time equivalent job opportunities will be created–
o in technical fields like staging, lighting, sound, etc. from performances during touring events;
o from precinct cleanliness, safety and security;
o from marketing, promotion, tour guiding, facilities management and managed work spaces;
o through infrastructure development;
o by fostering of local entrepreneurship.
Provinces, Regional/Local Municipalities
o Bloemfontein – Free State: Waaihoek Historical Precinct located in the Bloemfontein city centre, extending into the Batho Township.
o Cape Town - Western Cape: The Artscape Cultural Precinct is aligned with the Inner City Renewal Project approved by the Western Cape Cabinet and driven by the Department of Transport and Public Works. It is also aligned with certain new developments on the Cape Town Foreshore linking to the CCIC. Gugulethu Heritage and Cultural Precinct will also be linked with the Artscape Precinct.
o Durban – KZN: Arts and Culture Precinct incorporating historically important landmarks, the Playhouse Company and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.
o Johannesburg – Gauteng: Newtown Cultural Precinct and Vilakazi Street Cultural Precinct. Vilakazi Street has the unique distinction of hosting the historic homes of two Nobel laureates (Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu).
o Nelspruit – Mpumalanga: Gateway to the Kruger National Park.
Training offered and beneficiaries
Cultural precincts have the potential for training in a range of skills, including artistic creativity and construction work where infrastructure is created. The Newtown Cultural Precinct, for example, is a hub of artistic creativity. It hosts a number of organisations such as the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, Sci Bono, Dance Factory and Artist Proof Studio. Some of these institutions train dancers, designers, musicians, etc. The youth are the beneficiaries of most of these programmes. The DAC will encourage and promote conglomerations of institutions and cultural activities in other provinces where precincts are proposed.
Timelines or duration of the project
Creation of viable and sustainable cultural precincts is a medium to long-term goal. To maximise impact, the DAC will fund precincts over the MTEF cycles.
Contact details

The project managers are:
Mbhazima Makhubele, tel: 012-441-3470,
email: and
Mahunele Thotse, tel: 012-441-3470,