EuroEconomica, Vol 37, No 2 (2018)

Economic Impacts of the Touring Ventures Sub-category of the Mzanzi Golden Economy Programme in South Africa

Kamilla Swart, Urmilla Bob, Sizwe Nkambule, Amanda Gumede


The Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) began in 2011 in response to the Department of Arts and Culture’s assertion that the biggest challenge facing South Africa is unemployment and the arts, culture and heritage sector is well positioned to contribute to addressing this challenge as the ‘new gold’ has the potential to increase economic growth and create jobs in South Africa. However, limited research empirically examines the economic impacts of this sector. The aim of this study is to investigate the economic impacts of Touring Ventures supported by the MGE programme during the past three years. Challenges in undertaking economic assessments are also noted. The methodological approach was interviews with 38 purposively chosen Touring Ventures. Data was analysed in relation to employment and job creation, amongst other economic aspects. The results indicate that there is a high reliance on public funding. There are a number of new entrants to the sector which suggests that the MGE is creating opportunities for more cultural events/ activities to be held in South Africa, contributing to the objective of supporting the arts. There is also job creation linked to Touring Ventures, albeit mostly temporary. However, historically disadvantaged groups and locals are benefitting which provides opportunities for livelihoods and skills development.  The implication of the study is that the economic potential of Touring Ventures is evident, however, there are sustainability concerns. This type of study is important given that public funds are used to support the arts and cultural sector in South Africa.


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