South Africa: Calls Open for Mzansi Golden Economy Initiative

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has called for proposals for key Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) work streams.

MGE is a strategy to reposition the cultural industries in South Africa.

The strategy opens up the arts; culture and heritage sector to contribute to economic growth and job creation comprehensively.

"The application period for this financial year runs from 1 June to 25 June 2021 for projects/programmes that will be executed between September 2021 and March 2022," the department said on Tuesday.

Projects that the department has implemented and initiated as part of the MGE include cultural events, sourcing enterprise, public art, touring ventures, Art Bank, the National Cultural Industries Skills Academy (NACISA) and cultural observatory.

These involve:

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.

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 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.

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 Gross domestic product (GDP). In assessing the economic impact of the projects, the cultural observatory will provide economic indicators for the size of the industry; number of jobs created percentage contribution to the GDP and the value of the industry across the value chain.

Applications can only be done online and can be accessed through

The department said the move from manual to electronic portal is to create a track and trace management system for all MGE open call applications.

"In the past, applicants have raised concerns regarding MGE open call application process that include loss and/or misplacement of applications; lack of communication; long turnaround time and lack of traceability and monitoring of proposal in their life-cycle.

"By automating the application, process for funding the department will be able to track, trace and monitor turnaround times thus speeding up the process. In addition, holdups can be identified earlier and all applicants' identity numbers can be verified through e-services portal web service," the department said.

The e-system enables Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) capabilities and will send updates notifications to applicants through emails and/or SMS.

Applicants must register on the e-services portal. Once registered, the applicant will receive a one-time pin (OTP) to their cellphone number in order to verify the user.

If the applicant has an existing profile, the applicant must log into the portal with his/her existing credentials. Once logged in, the applicant can access the department's MGE Grant Management system, which is listed under e-services menu.

Applicants that require accessible free internet and Wi-Fi have been encouraged to visit their nearest community libraries.

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