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Rhodes University (2018)

Cultural clusters as a local economic development strategy in rural, small town areas : the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Drummond, Fiona Jane

Titre : Cultural clusters as a local economic development strategy in rural, small town areas : the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Auteur : Drummond, Fiona Jane

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Master of Commerce 2018

Résumé partiel
It is increasingly recognized that the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) can play an important role in economic growth and development. Governments around the world, including South Africa, are implementing culture‐led economic growth and development strategies on national and regional scales. CCIs tend to cluster around large cities because of existing hard and soft infrastructure such as networking advantages and access to skilled labour, however, much less is known about the potential of the CCIs to drive rural development. This thesis thus investigates the potential of the CCIs to cluster in small towns and rural areas. Moreover, it examines the relationship between the CCIs and socio‐economic development. The CCIs have been touted as a catalyst for economic growth and development and so have often been used in urban regeneration schemes. The Sarah Baartman District (SBD) of South Africa’s Eastern Cape has identified culture as a potential new economic driver. Establishing a new development path is necessary as the former economic mainstay, agriculture, has declined in the region, creating poverty and unemployment problems. However, the SBD has only small towns which, according to the literature, are not suited to CCI clustering. Despite this, there is evidence of cultural clustering in some of the SBD’s small towns like Nieu Bethesda and Bathurst. This research therefore conducted an audit of the CCIs in the district and used geographic information systems (GIS) to map their locations by UNESCO Framework of Cultural Statistics (FCS) domains in order to determine the extent to which clustering has occurred in a small town setting. The audit identified 1 048 CCIs operating in the district and determined that clustering is possible within some small towns, depending on their demographic, economic, social, geographic and historic characteristics. For small towns where clusters exist or the potential for cluster formation is present, the domains in which the town holds a comparative advantage, based on domain proportions and location quotients, should be pursued for local economic development (LED).

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