quick facts

There are over 5 500 visual artists working in South Africa, and more than 17 000 people working in the industry overall.

The majority of the visual arts industry is located in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, the three largest Metropolitan areas.

The annual turnover of the industry is in the region of ZAR2 billion (€200million), excluding the auction market which accounts for a further R500million/€50 million per annum.

There is an extensive infrastructure of over fourteen tertiary art schools which support the training of visual arts practitioners.

Museums and collections are mainly operated at a local government level or out of universities - there is a network of more than 25 publicly financed art museums across South Africa; these institutions do however have serious limitations with regard to new acquisitions and programming.

The last decade has seen the emergence of a number of dynamic, privately driven precincts with a contemporary art focus in Johannesburg (Arts on Main and Juta Street) and in Woodstock in Cape Town.

The Joburg Art Fair - a boutique art fair featuring circa 25 leading contemporary arts galleries from across South Africa and the continent - is the only contemporary art fair on the African continent.

Total public funding for visual artists and visual arts organisations was in the region of ZAR15 million (€1,5 million) in the 2008/9 financial year (excluding state investment in public art museums and art schools).

Source: Human Sciences Research Council (2010)

Go to - http://www.vansa.co.za/research for more information

• In 2015, cultural occupations made up 2.5% of all employment in SA, making it the third largest source of employment.
• Including non-cultural “support” occupations, the cultural and creative industries (CCI’s) employed 4.2% of all those who had a job in 2015.
• Altogether, the “cultural economy” accounted for an estimated 6.7% of all employment in South Africa.
• The visual arts and crafts domain made up 52% of CCI occupations in South Africa.
• The next largest domains were books, information and press and design and creative services.
• Most cultural employment was found in Gauteng (31.5% of all cultural jobs), KwaZulu-Natal (15.5%) and the Western Cape (15.1%).
• The visual arts and crafts domain was an important contributor to cultural goods export growth.
• There was a positive trade balance in the cultural and natural heritage domain.
• An important priority is the improvement of data collection for CCI trade in both goods and services.

Also go to https://www.southafricanculturalobservatory.co.za/