Community Arts Centres (CAC) survey


Background information Community Art centres

Between 1996 and 2000 the new democratic South African government through its national Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) developed 42 community arts centres in poor black townships.

Officially named the Culture in Community (CIC) programme, the arts centres were generally referred to as RDP arts centres, as they were funded by the national Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) Fund.

The purpose of the RDP centres was to provide to communities, art organizations and individuals opportunities for participation in artistic, craft and cultural activities. In addition, the centres were to train youth for purposes of recreation, cultural enrichment, social development and income generation (DACST, 1996a[1]).


Nine Community Arts Centre in the Eastern Cape Province were surveyed between 3 – 6 June and 15 July 2013. The following narrative report provides findings, conclusions and recommendations based on these surveys.  Surveys were completed by nine centre managers and 90 users of the centres. See Addendum A for background to the National Audit/Survey of Community Arts Centres. This report is a summary of the findings of surveys and contains a synthesis of the major findings for both respondents, the centre managers and consumers.

All art centres surveyed by the team are formally provincial government owned RDP centres. However some art centre managers are unsure about infrastructure ownership and land as well as the relationship the centres have with local government.

The survey process

Mr Michael Barry and Mr Gerhard Lück of the Southern Africa Development, Research and Training Institute (SADRAT Institute) were asked by Create SA to conduct the surveys in the Eastern Cape Province.

Selection and identification of sites was conducted in conjunction with DSRAC viz Mr Ray Qaba the Provincial officer responsible for Community Centres in the Eastern Cape. The report was to be completed by 22 July 2013.

The survey focused on the following issues:

  • legal status and ownership
  • governance
  • funding and finance
  • functions/scope/purpose
  • management and staffing
  • programming
  • networking and partnerships
  • infrastructure

The report used a Swot analysis framework with areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to analyse the above issues.

Selection process

The following nine centres were selected for the survey:

  • Tombo / Port St Johns Community Art Centre
  • Mthata Community Art Centre
  • Willowvale Community Art Centre
  • Sokopase (Butterworth) Community Art Centre
  • Mdantsane Community Art Centre
  • Gompo Art Centre (Duncan Village)
  • Ngqushwa Art Centre - Peddie
  • Queenstown Art Centre
  • Tsitsikama Khoisan Arts Centre

[1] Gerhard Hagg ;The state and community arts centres in a society in transformation 2010