3. What is the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE)?
Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) is a strategy to reposition the cultural industries in South Africa. The MGE strategy opens up the arts, culture and heritage sector to effectively and comprehensively contribute to economic growth and job creation. The Minister of Arts and Culture has declared 2013 as the year of MGE. Some of the projects that DAC has initiated and is implementing are; Cultural Events, Sourcing Enterprise, Public Art, Touring Ventures, Art Bank, NACISA and Cultural Observatory.
- The Cultural Events initiative funds big cultural events in different cities and towns of the country. These Events provide platforms for performing artists to display their arts and earn a living. It also provides secondary and supportive jobs.
- The Sourcing Enterprise sources goods and services for events, shows, conferences and exhibitions. It chooses the best and most appropriate artists, and their creations. It also provides an opportunity for the young upcoming artists to be showcased on these platforms.
- The Public Art project looks at proposals from artists who can do a Public Art Performance like the Cape Carnival and the Infecting the City project which does ‘impromptu’ multi-media arts. Street theatre and dance are also part of this programme. The Public Art project consists of outdoor murals and sculpture. The Department has been funding such projects which offer job opportunities to visual artists, especially among the youth and beautifies public spaces.
- The Touring Venture project deals with Art Exhibitions, Plays and Public Art Performances that need to be taken to various cities to provide opportunities for audiences elsewhere to experience the art.
- The Art Bank Project is envisaged as a national rental agency for contemporary and traditional South African Art. Its function will be to procure and curate artworks in all public buildings, including government departments and its institutions and South African Embassies around the world to ensure that good quality contemporary artworks are displayed.
- The National Cultural Industries Skills Academy (NaCISA) is a proposed centre of excellence that is being developed in collaboration with Departments of Basic and Higher Education, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labour. We are discussing the project with various tertiary level institutions that provide training to the arts sector to devise a curriculum and programme of training, having found gaps with the skills shortages identified by researches in the arts sector. This centre of excellence will provide a training centre for the youth at tertiary level.
- The Cultural Observatory aims to provide the industry and government with the data that will help develop appropriate strategies for facilitating development of the sector and to enhance its contribution to the GDP. In assessing the economic impact of the projects, the Cultural Observatory will provide the following economic indicators:-
- The size of the industry
- Number of jobs created
- Percentage contribution to the GDP
- The value of the industry across the value chain.