• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Arts festival gets R13m from Eastern Cape government

The Eastern Cape government has contributed R13 million to the 45th National Arts Festival (NAF), which runs from June 27 until July 7 in Makhanda. The financial contribution is part of government’s commitment to support the Eastern Cape arts community. Every three years the festival does an economic impact study with the last one done in 2016. So far the GDP contribution of the festival to the province’s economy is at R377 million and R94 million is contributed to Makhanda.


“NAF is a cornerstone of our province’s economy, this translates into jobs, tourist spend and visitors buying the work of our crafters and a myriad of activities that help our people enhance their lives. It is an example of how the arts can play a meaningful role in the reconstruction of our economy and country,” said Fezeka Bayeni, MEC for the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. 2019 marks government’s 17th year of the support to the festival and as part of the R13 million injection, R6 680 000 is set to fund the Eastern Cape’s showcase of visual Arts and Craft, a Literature festival, EC Indigenous Dance and Music Ensemble, the official opening, EC Jazz Festival (previously known as Dakawa Jazz), Fingo Festival (township arts activities) and production expenses.


The Festival was founded by Professor Roy Sargeant and Professor Guy Butler in 1974. The main idea they had was to offer the arts community a platform to showcase their works without any “middle man” who would take cut of their earnings.


It remains to this day that artists benefit directly from their participation in the festival, with several million rand being distributed to performers each year. More than 2 400 performances are expected in the eleven days, covering every genre from theatre, to dance, to comedy, jazz, classical music, family theatre, film and more.


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