Director-General Sibusiso Xaba speaks at the launch of BASA Toolkit - Arts more than arts’ sake

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Artists need to regard themselves as important contributors to job creation and economic growth, said Sibusiso Xaba, Arts and Culture  Director-General.

Mr Xaba was speaking at the launch of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Toolkit and Entrepreneurial Partnership. The Toolkit is an initiative of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) BASA (an entity of the Department of Arts and Culture), Shanduka Black Umbrellas and the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the Soweto Theatre.

The aim of the Toolkit is to identify potential high impact businesses in the arts sector and provide these businesses with assistance to access networks, markets and finance to ensure sustainability.

It also seeks to play an important role in the success rate of arts organisations. Xaba said that while arts, culture and heritage play an important role in matters of social cohesion and nation building, the sector should not shy from claiming its place in the economy.

He maintained that this does not in any way attempt to treat the arts as a commodity but rather emphasises the economic role the sector plays. He said that the reality of diminishing public budgets has made the role of the private sector in developing the arts more urgent than ever before.

“We welcome and appreciate this initiative and encourage others to work with us. Government always recognised the role of the private sector in the arts and it was for this reason that we established BASA as an entity that should facilitate synergies between us and our private sector colleagues”, said Xaba.

More details of the Toolkit are available at www.basa.co.za