Determining the potential role of the creative economy to reduce unemployment
Xabana, Nomalizo Zinzile
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At present South Africa is the most developed country in Africa and it had the highest GDP growth rate until 2014, when it was overtaken by Nigeria. In April of 2016, South Africa’s largest economic sector remained the services industry, which accounts for approximately 73 percent of the national GDP. Within the overall service industry sector, the greatest contributions are made by the financial, real estate and business services sectors, which account for 21.6 percent. Government services account for 1.7 percent of the GDP, while wholesale and retail trading, the motor trade, catering and accommodation account for 15 percent and transport, storage and communication for 9.3 percent. The GDP growth rate of South Africa is now the third highest in Africa, after Egypt. Although it was reassuring to observe that the number of employed people rose by an encouraging 198,000 in the second quarter of 2015, after an increase of 139,000 in the first quarter of 2015 and a massive overall gain of 563,000 for the past year, this optimistic assessment stands in sharp contrast with the findings of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), which indicated that South Africa had lost 44,000 jobs in the formal sector during the first quarter of 2015 and that employment in the formal sector had declined by 43,000 jobs during the past year. Although a burgeoning creative economy in South Africa would contribute significantly towards counteracting the high levels of unemployment, the challenges which are faced by a very large portion of the population, who are still experiencing the effects of being effectively excluded from the economy, in gaining access to income-generating opportunities, need to be identified and an awareness of the opportunities which are available to this sector of the population needs to be fostered. The value of consistently creating awareness is of crucial importance for any sustainable initiatives which may be implemented. Key role players in creative economic initiatives will need to dedicate resources in order to assess specific requirements with respect to information and to develop the information which is required, in order to help decision makers to use the information to generate and validate actionable insights concerning customers and markets. The research study which forms the basis for this thesis found that responses concerning the level of awareness among the target population were significantly positive, ranging from ’neutral’ to ’strongly agree’. However, it was also evident that more awareness drives are needed, as the rating of this variable could have been significantly higher. Increased levels of awareness would enable steadily increasing numbers of people to be in a greatly improved position to engage in creative business enterprises in order to take advantage of the growth in the global market within a creative economy.
- ETD@PUK