Monday, 25 July 2011

Can SA creative industries salvage ailing economy?

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Recent weeks have seen a number of positive developments within the South African creative sphere with Hollywood-style projects such as Cape Town 'Dreamworld' studios providing a much-needed economic boost in the near future. However, while local creative companies, filmmakers and designers continue to garner international acclaim, South Africa still lacks the economic viability boasted by other countries.
With an economic recession touted across industries and stalwart sectors such as manufacturing and industrials looking decidedly shaky, the creative industry has become an increasingly important player in the South African marketplace. According to the South African Bureau of Standards, creativity and design are some of the most vital resources for competitiveness in the new world economy, but it’s imperative that our work and products are of an international standard.

"South Africa is undoubtedly a hub for creative talent," comments Eva Grötzinger, Cape Town Institute Manager for global creative education provider, SAE Institute. "We see huge potential for this sector, specifically within audio, film, animation and design, but are aware that our creative professionals need to adopt some of the latest technologies used internationally and gain access to the new equipment boasted overseas."

Global counterparts such as the United Kingdom and India have continued to report phenomenal growth in these industries as they represent the fastest growing sectors of those respective economies. The creative sector in London alone generated approximately £20 billion (R260 billion) last year, and, as a whole, the sector contributed 7.3% of the UK’s GDP. Most notably, the industry grew at a rate of 5% per year, compared to 1.5% growth across the rest of that country’s economy.

"While we might lag behind other countries, we believe that foreign companies still see South Africa as a viable destination for film production, animation and design projects," says Grötzinger. "With the world’s largest sporting event only months away and exciting mega-developments nearing completion, the creative industry is well-placed to become a more substantial source of income – we just need to ensure that we have the skills, educational resources and technology to make this sustainable."

Notes to Editor

SAE Cape Town Institute Manager, Eva Grötzinger is available for interview.

About SAE Institute

Established in 1976, SAE Institute is the world’s largest and most prominent Creative Media training provider, represented in 50 cities and 23 countries. SAE Institute Cape Town offers courses in Audio Engineering, Animation, Interactive Media Design and Film, training creative professionals through innovative teaching techniques and state of the art equipment.

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Published in Science and Education