Frequently Asked Questions - DAC

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The aim of the DAC is to develop and preserve South African culture to ensure social cohesion and nation-building.
We are a thriving arts, culture and heritage sector contributing to sustainable economic development, leveraging on partnerships for a socially cohesive nation. We enhance job creation by preserving, protecting and developing arts, culture and heritage to sustain our democracy and build our nation.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The department defines social cohesion as the degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression itself among individuals and communities.


In terms of this definition, a community or society is cohesive to the extent that the inequalities, exclusions and disparities based on ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, age, disability or any other distinctions which engender divisions distrust and conflict are reduced and/or eliminated in a planned and sustained manner. Community members and citizens should be active participants working together for the attainment of shared goals designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.


The Department has a programme on community conversations/dialogues which are aimed at communities to share their past and present experiences with regard to social cohesion. In these platforms communities are encouraged to identify projects that help in nurturing, understanding and cooperation between different communities.


Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

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.
Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Arts refers to individually or collectively created products of value, the expression or application of creative skill and imagination in the various branches of creative activity such as painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, films, graphic arts etc.

Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Heritage refers to valued property such as historic buildings, artwork, books and manuscripts and other artefacts that have been passed down from previous generations. They are of special value and are worthy of preservation.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

You may visit the Provincial or National Archives and make enquiries there and will be helped to research your family history.  You can call the National Archives of South Africa at 012 441 3200

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The need for a Community Arts Centres is driven through local government. Communities must raise these need when consultations for the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) happen. It should be a priority of a Municipality to build one. There are particular funds that are available through the Cooperative Governance Ministry. An Infrastructure Grant for example is accessible for a municipal that wants to venture into community buildings/public amenities.


Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The Bureau of Heraldry which is located together with the National Archives in Hamilton Street, Pretoria is the unit that can assist. A Coat of Arms is developed for a town, city, province or country. The Bureau of Heraldry has documented the Coats of Arms for most of the places in South Africa. They would therefore advise you as to whether the symbols you wish to use have been used by another entity or not. You would also have to register the Coat of Arms with the Bureau of Heraldry once it is completed.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The National symbols entail the National anthem, the National flag, the National Coat of Arms, the National animal which is the Springbok, the National bird which is the Blue Crane, the National fish which is the Galjeon, the National flower which is the King Protea and the National tree which is the Real Yellowwood.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The National Orders are South Africa’s highest awards presented to     individuals by the President, in recognition of their contribution to the country. There are six categories of National Orders as follows:


It is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa. The first and highest category of this Order is awarded in Platinum, followed by Gold, Silver and Bronze.



It is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service. It is an award for contributions in the following areas:

  • Business and the Economy
  • Science, Medicine and Technological Innovation
  • Community Service

Companion of OR Tambo

It is awarded to foreign nationals (Head of State and Government) and other foreign dignitaries. It is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support.



It is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, peace and conflict resolution. It symbolises the vision of the late Chief Albert Luthuli – the legendary liberation struggle leader and the first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.



It is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.


Mendi for Bravery

It is awarded to South African citizens who have performed an extraordinary act of bravery that placed their lives in great danger, or who lost their own lives including trying to save the life of another person, or by saving property.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Legacy projects refers to  Monuments, museums, plaques, outdoor art, heritage trails and other symbolic representations create visible reminders of, and commemorate, the many aspects of South Africa’s past.

Government has initiated several national legacy projects to establish commemorative symbols of South Africa’s history and celebrate its heritage.

The legacy projects include the Women’s Monument, Chief Albert Luthuli’s house in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, Battle of Blood River/Ncome Project, Samora Machel Project, Nelson Mandela Museum, Constitution Hill Project, Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance, Khoisan Legacy Project, Freedom Park Project , Dulcie September Legacy Project , Matola Raid Memorial Project , Bhambatha Project and Albert Luthuli Annual Memorial Lecture.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The Department of Arts and Culture disburses its funds through specialised funding institutions that are able to assess and keep track of those funds, namely:

  • National Heritage Council

Tel: (012) 348 1663

Fax: (012) 348 2833



  • National Arts Council

Tel: (011) 838 1838  

 Fax: (011) 838 6363




  • National Film and Video Foundation

Tel: (011) 483 0880 

Fax: (011) 4830881



  • Business Arts South Africa        

Tel (011) 832 3000

Fax: (011) 832 3040



Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

There is no great secret on how to copyright your musical work. As soon as you affix your music and lyrics in a tangible medium (paper, CD or DVD) the work  is afforded copyright protection. The affixed products can be deposited with existing institutions such as the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), the National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music (Norm) as well as the National Archives of South Africa.  According to the copyright act, the owner of the copyright has the exclusive rights to authorise any of the following: reproduction of the work, distribution of the work, performance of the work, displaying the work publicly.  There are monetary benefits attached to the exclusive rights.

You can also visit the website  for more information.


Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

There indeed several academies/schools of the arts in South Africa. Most tertiary institutions offer formal qualifications in various artistic disciplines and include amongst others:

  • Wits University
  • University of the North West
  • University of Natal
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Zululand
  • University of Natal
  • University of Free State etc,


In Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces thre are arts and culture magnet/focussed schools. These are public schools which are skewed towards the arts. There is the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein Johannesburg, Pro Arte Alphen Park in Pretoria, and East Rand School of the Arts in Ekurhuleni. Community Arts Academies include the following:

  • Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni
  • Alexandra Arts Centre
  • Fuba Academy
  • Funda Academy
  • Mmabana Foundation in the North West Provinces
  • Mmabana Arts Centre in Thaba Nchu Free State
  • Nyanga Arts Centre in Cape Town
  • Krodendal Music Academy in Cape Town
  • Keiskama Music Academic – Hamburg (East London)
  • BAT Centre in Durban
Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

A constitution contains the highest laws of a country. These laws are higher than the president, higher than the courts and higher than the government. These are the laws that describe how the people of a country should treat each other, and what their rights and responsibilities are to each other. The constitution of a country cannot easily be changed; it is there to protect all of us now, and our children in the future.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology invited the public to say what values and symbols they would like to see reflected in the design of our new Coat of Arms. From these comments, instructions were written and given to Design South Africa (an umbrella body of South African design agencies). Ten top designers were briefed and three designers were chosen to present their ideas to the Cabinet. The final choice was the design by Mr. Iaan Bekker.