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Will Creativity Save South Africa?

 Will Creativity Save South Africa?

Fresh thinking and new ideas

Almost ten years ago South Africa ranked 45th in the Global Creativity Index. A measurement tool developed by the highly influential urbanist Richard Florida. Florida’s outlook on creative success is a reflection of how a country’s economic success is closely linked to the presence of a “creative class”. Creativity is a phenomenon whereby innovation is cultivated in order to produce something of value. An industry where knowledge workers focus on developing new innovations.

Florida argues that creativity has the ability to reduce inequality, improve quality of life and increase the overall happiness in a country. The criteria used to produce the GCI rankings are Florida’s three critical T’s of economic development: technology (R&D innovation), talent (human capital, education), and tolerance (attitudes to diversity).


An abundance of creativity in South Africa

Creative and social enterprises in South Africa are an emerging phenomenon and are still quite young in today’s creative realm. The majority of our creative and social enterprises are urban, and many are located in Johannesburg. In South Africa, many of our creative and social enterprises are trading businesses who rarely receive grant funding or financial support. This has created barriers for growth in our creative industries and the inclination of innovation.

What is special about The Creative Economy in South Africa is how it trades in ideas and innovation. It often highlights economic, political, cultural and technological issues. Not only to make a significant impact on society but on the economy as a whole. Community is the life blood of South Africa which connects us and fuels us to be hopeful. The British Council describes South Africa as a vibrant and resilient country.

It is our vibrancy, resilience and complex yet painful history that forms the foundation for our creative enterprises to thrive. The leaders of our creative and social enterprises are young, diverse and educated. However, it is up to our larger more successful enterprises to support this emerging generation of innovators for our country to move forward.

Innovative business

Creativity, innovation and idea generation are all critical to social enterprise. The same enterprise that actively engages with activities typically associated with creativity and innovation. For the most part, engaging in innovative activities contributes to the economic growth, suggesting the need to consider more support in this area. These enterprises are committed to making an impact. They identify young people (under 35), business, the public sector and non-profit organizations as their key beneficiaries.

Otsile Mokotong