About BASA

Vision & Mission

Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through Shared Value. Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership.


Business and Arts South Africa’s vision is to be the leading connector catalyst and resource that supports a better understanding by business of the arts, and continues to advocate an arts culture in our society.


BASA’s mission is to ensure the relevance and sustainability of the arts in South Africa by providing expertise in developing partnerships between business and the arts.

About BASA

Board Members

As a section 21 company, BASA has a Board of Directors that meets four times a year. An Executive Committee meets regularly (at least every two months) to consider applications for funding and to provide guidance. BASA has an Audit Committee, Human Resource Committee, Nomination Committee and Marketing Advisory Committee.

Board of Directors

Andre Le Roux

Mandie van der Spuy
Deputy Chairperson

Herman Bosman

Michelle Constant

Mandla Langa

Hilton Lawler

Khanyi Mamba

Gianni Mariano

Dorothea Moors

 Charmaine Soobramoney

Carel Nolte

Yacoob Abba Omar

Gail Walters

BASA Board Committees 2017

Board Committee
All board members

Audit Committee
Christine McDonald (Chairman)
Herman Bosman
Lisa Tonini

Human Resource Committee
Carel Nolte (Chairman)
Mandie van der Spuy
Hilton Lawler

Nomination Committee
Andre le Roux
Gail Walters
Gianni Mariano

Marketing Committee
Gianni Mariano (Chairman)
Carel Nolte
Khanyi Mamba
Hilton Lawler

Management Committee
Michelle Constant
Charlotte Gulle

BASA Staff 

Michelle Constant

Charlotte Gulle
Financial Manager

Madeleine Selmer-Olsen
Head of Research and Development

Rochelle Singh
Executive Assistant to the CEO

Mandisa Tshiqi
Business Services Officer

Teboho Sandamela
Marketing Specialist

Onthatile Ditshego
Education Programme Manager

Aviwe Matandela
Grants and Programmes Officer

Tumy Motsoatsoe
Head of Programmes and Development

Mammatli Thakuli-Nzuza

Maureen Benya
General Assistant

Sipho Mthiyane
About BASA

CEO’s Comment

Creative Feel Dec/Jan Business and Arts column by Michelle Constant

Recently the importance of scaling was brought up, with regards to the arts sector. Is your organisation or specific programme easily able to scale; what stops the scaling and what needs to be addressed in the process. Ultimately, the question that should also be addressed is whether or not the programme or organisation is required to scale in order to remain successful and sustainable. The question arises – does ‘to grow’, actually mean ‘to scale’?

With this in mind, it is always an enormous honour to engage with organisations that are doing excellent work in rethinking what are sometimes inappropriate frameworks, with regards to this discussion. Over the last few weeks I’ve had the honour of spending some time with these organisations.

Cape Town Opera (CTO) is an anomaly in so many ways. On the one hand it represents a genre of the arts that is seeded in Western culture – a culture that remains contested in South Africa. Conversely, it is an extremely successful company that demonstrates organisational transformation (the SA Rugby Board could learn from them), as well as renewed ownership of the aforementioned contested terrain. It is the success of CTO that offers us insights into how one can shift the resource narrative. In 2014 alone, Cape Town Opera did more performances overseas than in South Africa – 85 to the local 62. In the seven countries that they visited, 120 000 saw their diverse productions including Mandela Trilogy, and the foreign income earned for the organisation was nearly ten times more than that earned locally. Managing Director Michael Williams attests the success to the power of teamwork and indeed a ‘fantastic team’. He also talks to the long-term vision of diverse partnerships, amongst them the NLDTF, ‘because of them, we are what we are today’, and corporate RMB. Most recently, the CTO received a massive individual bequest of R10 million, highlighting Williams’ suggestion that one ‘doesn’t go for the corporate but rather the individual champion.’ Talking to Williams is a tonic; at times he is excessively chipper. But he has good reason to be, his strategy is one of local excellence and global reach, addressed by touring the successes of the company internationally – and given the current Rand exchange rate, it’s a mighty savvy strategy for a large organisation of this nature. As a full-time opera company, the ability to generate close on R16 million worth of employment in local and international work in 2014 alone, deserves applause.

FATC Performance from Business and Arts segment in Dec/Jan Creative Feel

Moving from the Western Cape to Mpumalanga to the new home of the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collective (FATC), powered by the extraordinary PJ Sabbagha. Moving the dance company from Jozi, Gauteng to Emakhazeni in Mpumalanga to open the Rural Dance Centre is both crazy and thoughtful. Or, as journalist Adrienne Sichel said, ‘Its another defining moment in South African cultural history; an insane act of faith by PJ, his family and the FATC Company.’ Sichel is right on both counts, and indeed the move is almost counter-intuitive. In order to define a new scalable future, the company happened to shut up shop and downscale. Already the Centre has extended its reach to a Schools Programme in the district, to a residency at the Centre, and it demonstrates a reframing of skills transfer and access. As Sabbagha describes it, they have encountered a ‘different kind of difficult’ in the shift, but in doing so have discovered a re-energised team, organisation and future.

Perhaps what also makes the move exciting is the fresh opportunity to engage with diverse businesses and assets in the region. It opens the door to new partnerships and new ideas of cultural tourism, shifting the conversation from what Iain Harris of the award-winning Cape Town Coffeebeans Routes describes as ‘from a silenced economy to a storytelling economy,’ that is one that is exclusive to one that is more inclusive. As a dancer performed on the back of a tractor, and then what appeared to be a herd of antelope (student dancers from the area with large branches on their heads) traipsed delicately across a green field, it became quite clear that, yes, through the arts we are indeed able to give a new ‘voice’ to our current economy.

In the last 18 months

news feed 1


The 19th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day, will once again shine a spotlight on the imaginative and diverse ways that business partners with arts projects, events and initiatives to bring the arts to the public in different parts of the country. In continuing commitment to celebrating best practice business and arts partnerships, and recognising innovation, there have been some exciting changes to the categories available for entry – please see the BASA Awards page for further details. Entries closed on 20 June 2016 and are currently being processed. Finalists will be announced at an event on 18 August 20116, after which the winners’ award ceremony will take place on 19 September 2016.






18th BASA Awards_Finals-020

Surrounded by artworks from the Constitutional Court Art Collection (CCAC), the diverse business and arts partnership winners in the eleven judged categories were celebrated at the 18th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, on September 21st 2015.  Also honoured were the winners of four special awards commending the remarkable contribution of individuals, businesses, and organisations to the sustainability of South Africa’s arts, selected at the discretion of the BASA Board.  Each winner received a unique sculpture by renowned artist, Collen Maswanganyi, inspired by the theme of transformation.  For the Awards ceremony, BASA commissioned a performance by Anthea Moys, with Lavendhri Arumugam, Dion Monti, and Wits School of Arts Fine Art students, also based on the transformation theme.  As part of the legacy of the 18th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, BASA worked with the CCAC to facilitate the development of the first iteration of an App that allows all smart phone users to take a tour of this important art collection – either on site, or remotely. The Constitutional Court Art Collection App is free, and available for download via the Google Play Store, App Store, or BlackBerry Work.  For a full list of winners, please see the BASA Awards page.



#artMOVESme is an open source participatory and ongoing art campaign pioneered by BASA.  It explores the value of the arts for both business and broader society, and is based on the understanding that the arts provide REAL value – social capital, EQ and social cohesion.  The first part of the #artMOVESme campaign is a graffiti hoarding featuring the work of artist Sindiso Nyoni.  The hoarding was initiated in August 2014 at the 17th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, first appearing on the Hollard Campus, before moving to Business Day’s premises, and then arriving at the Market Theatre for the awards event.  During 2015 it travelled to the National Arts Festival (July) and the FNB Joburg Art Fair (September).  Through the hoarding, the public can engage with Nyoni’s images, describing – through visuals and words captured on pink Post-It notes – how the arts impact their world and make them feel, and the responses have been both moving and thought-provoking.  In 2016, #artMOVESme will once again visit the National Arts Festival from 30 June until 10 July.  Your responses can also be shared with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #artMOVESme.  Additionally, if you would like to host the hoarding at your business premises, contact Teboho Sandamela on teboho@basa.co.za or 011 447 2295 for further information.



Supported by the British Council Connect ZA, the Connecting Creative Markets audience development fellows have completed their training with the Arts Marketing Association (UK), as well as their work with in-service organisations POPArt and Bag Factory in Johannesburg, and Arts Township International and Cape Dance Company in Cape Town.  A guide to growing Creative Markets, the animated e-learning platform showcasing initial results, lessons learned and unique South African case studies, will be launched in July 2016.  
BASA and the British Council Connect ZA are partnering once again, towards the development of the Creative Markets Growth Hub (CMGH).  The CMGH is intended to become a focal point for creative market development thinking, research and online training within Africa.  We are currently rolling out an in-depth research phase to fully understand the challenges the creative services are facing in maintaining and developing their markets.  The research is being led by Kim Sanssoucie, former Connecting Creative Markets fellow, alongside an audience development research expert from the United Kingdom.



Business and Arts South Africa launched the BASA ArtsTrack No. 7 to its members on 21 June 2016, at Hollard’s Villa Arcadia in Johannesburg, along with an overview and update on the organisation’s programmes.  The 2015 report represents the seventh update of the original report, and again creates an opportunity to tracks consumer engagement and perception of the arts and its sponsors.  Undertaken bi-annually by sponsorship research leaders BMi, the wide-ranging research is a unique resource for BASA members and access to it is one of the benefits of membership.  “The ArtsTrack research is part of our extensive knowledge hub, and is a powerful tool for our business members to be able to maximise the shared value that successful arts-business partnerships bring,” comments Michelle Constant, BASA CEO. “It is also an invaluable resource for those businesses that are considering a move into arts sponsorship.”

Following this event there will be similar visits to the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.


Africa Breakfast 10

BASA Africa Business Breakfasts:  BASA, in partnership with Standard Bank, is excited to announce a new Series of the BASA Africa Business Breakfasts for 2016, this year taking place in Kenya as well as in South Africa.  The first breakfast took place in Johannesburg in May, during Africa Month.











BASA, in partnership with Standard Bank, had the pleasure of launching and hosting the BASA Africa Breakfast series in 2014 and 2015.  In line with the BASA strategy to engage more rigorously on the continent, the focus of these breakfasts was to engage on how the arts can be a progressive and valuable enabler for businesses engaging in diverse African countries.  They explored how the arts can offer marketing opportunities, demonstrate support for broader communities, and offer innovative opportunities for HR departments.  Furthermore, the Africa Breakfasts examined how the arts offer business the opportunity for co-operation as opposed to competition on the continent.  This successful series, comprising breakfasts held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in March and July 2014, and at the Orbit in Braamfontein in May 2015, saw over 220 guests attending.  Highlights included the participation of the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthetwa, who delivered a keynote address at the 2015 breakfast, as a collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture as part of Africa month.




In May 2015 BASA hosted the first of its Foundry Dinners, repeated in May 2016.  These intimate events took place at artist Louis Olivier’s Workhorse Foundry in downtown Johannesburg.  They demonstrated the operations of a working foundry, whilst offering an opportunity to engage with other businesses over dinner.  Should you be interested in attending the next dinner, please contact Jessica Dennison on jessica@basa.co.za







The BASA Young Business Professionals programme focuses on shaping a new generation of business leaders who are keen to take an active role in the arts community/sector, and creates opportunities for them to engage with the arts.  On 7 April 2016, the programme kicked off with an introductory event where 33 Young Business Professionals were introduced to the programme’s purpose and benefits.  They also experienced a walkabout of Carla Busuttil’s Choice. Click. Bait exhibition at the Goodman Gallery, as well as a talk regarding art as an investment at Gallery MOMO, where Jonathan Freemantle’s Der Heilige Berg II was showing.  8 May 2016 saw BASA engage with 22 Young Professionals at Strauss & Co for an auction house experience and to learn about art investment.   The Young Business Professionals programme has interacted with individuals from a variety of organisations such as ABSA, Isobar South Africa, Nedbank, Nestle, Norton Rose Fulbright, RMB, among others.  



supporting grant

Reminder that, to increase efficiency and streamline the Supporting Grant programme, there will be fewer cycles open during 2016 – this does not equate to less funds, simply fewer grant cycles.  Remaining application deadlines for 2016 are 7 July and 9 November.

The April 2016 Supporting Grant cycle saw x successful applicants and a total of Rx disbursed.  The projects funded included:


The January cycle saw 15 successful applicants and a total of R585,500.00 disbursed.  The projects funded included:

  1. 13th South African Association for Jazz Education Jazz Conference (sponsored by the SAMRO Foundation)
  2. Acoustics Now and Classic Now (partnered by BMW South Africa (Pty) Ltd and sponsored by Caleo Capital (Pty) Ltd)
  3. Dance Umbrella 2016 (sponsored by Desklink Media)
  4. Gender Equality Murals (sponsored by K-Lo Ink Media Productions
  5. Hermanus FynArts Festival (sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank and Banguela Cove Investments (Pty) Ltd)
  6. Knysna Literary Festival (sponsored by Pam Golding Properties, Exclusive Books, Jonathan Ball Publishers, and Penguin)
  7. Museum Night Cape Town (sponsored by Metropolitan)
  8. Naledi Theatre Awards (sponsored by Gold Reef City, DWR Distribution, and the Distell Foundation)
  9. Puku Story Festival (sponsored by REDISA)
  10. Sedgefield Slow Festival (sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay, Stanmar Motors, and Remax)
  11. Stellenbosch University Woordfees and WOW (sponsored by Sanlam)
  12. That Art Fair 2016 (sponsored by Omnigrow (Pty) Ltd and Manic Enterprises (Pty) Ltd)
  13. The 6th Wakkerstroom Classical Music Festival (sponsored by Nolands)
  14. The Classic Lunch Hour Concerts (sponsored by Hartham Properties (Pty) Ltd)
  15. The Five Lives of Walter Battis Exhibition (sponsored by the Ampersand Foundation).


BASA Edu - 25 Aug

The BASA Basics Education Programme targets arts organisations and individuals wishing to start a for-profit or non-profit organisation.  It introduces them to the legal registration options and processes available to establish an organisation, basic business models, and fundraising and sponsorship.  Supported by the National Arts Council of South Africa, BASA Basics was rolled out nationally and all workshops in the current programme are complete (facilitated by Itumeleng Hlapane of Business Education and Arts Mentorship, and BASA staff).  79 delegates have registered their organisations/companies thus far, 39 have been able to access funding and sponsorships, and 50 have their tax clearance in order.  6 delegates in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein have already moved on to participate in the BASA Dynamic Education Programme.




BASA dyn Est 11 Nov

BASA Dynamic and Established Education Programmes:  This programme is for registered and more established organisations.  It comprises strategy, marketing and audience development, operations, finance, and governance workshops, and is underpinned by assignments and mentorship.  Thus far, the delegates have reported solid organisational development and, in some cases, increased funding and audiences as a result of the programme.  Some of the recent workshop facilitators have included Amy Shelver (Meropa Communications), Niall Kramer (marketing consultant, previously Marketing Director at Chevron), Mike Freedman (Founder of Freedthinkers), Hilton Lawler (MD of Hilton Lawler Strategy Consultants), Henry Cronje (Solace Consulting), Mandisa Dangazele (Business Education and Arts Mentorship), and some of BASA’s staff members.  22 Established and Dynamic arts organisations in Johannesburg and 13 in Cape Town completed the NAC funded programme in June 2015.  9 organisations in Port Elizabeth, 13 in Durban, and 7 in Bloemfontein completed the workshop programme earlier this year and are in the process of completing the assignments required to finish the programme.  With support from RMB, BASA recruited a new intake of delegates for the BASA Established programme in Gauteng (10 organisations), the Western Cape (12 organisations), and KwaZulu-Natal (12 organisations) during 2015, and they are about to wrap up the programme ahead of a new intake for the 2015/16 year.  In addition to assignments, mentorship, and workshops outlined above, these delegates also completed ABCD and monitoring and evaluation workshops.


BASA Edu - 23 Oct

Mandisa Tshiqi, BASA’s Business Services Officer, and Onthatile Ditshego, BASA’s Education Programme Manager, attended an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) training workshop and are now able to facilitate ABCD workshops.  These workshops offer a powerful approach to community development that focus effort on discovering and mobilising the resources that are already present in a community.  This approach recognises that people best learn how to build “community partnerships that work” successfully by learning from their own experience, by having clear principles of practice, and by learning from the experience of other community builders.  The workshops are targeted at social innovators actively working to build stronger, vibrant, inclusive and healthy communities.  ABCD workshops have been integrated into the BASA Education Programme, and were also offered to 3rd year Fine Art students at the University of Johannesburg early in August 2015, for the BASA/UJ Talks around the professional practice of the arts.



Mount Ayliff 10

The Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre (ECAVC) partnered with the Alfred Nzo Development Agency to develop artists in a number of towns in the Eastern Cape.  Stemming from the BASA Basics Education Programme activities in the Eastern Cape, BASA was approached by ECAVC to collaborate in this endeavour.  On 11 and 12 March 2016, ECAVC conducted a music business workshop, followed by a talent search competition, in Mount Ayliff, Eastern Cape.  Here, ECAVC gave some background as to what they do and how they plan to further develop the artists in Mount Ayliff.  SAMRO then presented a talk relating to copyright and registration of songs, and then BASA took over, explaining funding and corporate sponsorship of the arts as well as BASA’s role and programmes for the arts, and then facilitating an ABCD workshop. “The partnership with BASA and the ECAVC is an exciting one that has allowed us entrance into a market that we strongly believe will benefit from our programmes, particularly the Supporting Grant Scheme and Education Programme. We are eager about further establishing ourselves in the Eastern Cape,” Mandisa Tshiqi, BASA Business Services Officer.  BASA Programmes and Grants Officer, Tshepo Diseko, further explained that these sort of partnerships are essential for BASA to spread its pool of resources and funding across the whole country.


Ochestra 11 small

In February 2016, the BASA Conduct and Orchestra event saw Richard Cock, a deft hand at conducting management demonstrations using an orchestra, giving pointers and basic instruction on the art of conducting, before handing over the baton to some of these senior managers of BASA member businesses and BASA board members to conduct the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra.  Cock’s insight into the similarities between conducting an orchestra and running a business at senior level provides an entertaining way for senior managers to think about their own organisations and leadership skills.  The conductors included Carel Nolte, founder and head of CNandCO; Rudolf Gouws, economic consultant to RMB and a member of its board; Gail Walters, Head of Group Corporate Affairs and Social Capital at Hollard; Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA; Paul Vonk, who heads up MayFord Seeds for sub-Saharan Africa within Sakata Seed SA; Gianni Mariano, co-founder and CEO of the Mastrantonio group of companies; and Greg Maloka, Managing Director of Kaya FM.  The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra and the Buskaid Trust were beneficiaries of the donations made by the conductors.


Mc Award

2016 started with a significant confirmation of the contribution of BASA CEO, Michelle Constant, and long-standing BASA Board member, Mandie van der Spuy, to the arts.  At a ceremony at the French Embassy in Pretoria on January 28th, Constant was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, while Van der Spuy was be honoured with the Officier des Arts et des Lettres.  The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognise eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.



Africa Breakfast logo

Strengthening BASA’s international engagement with Africa and following trips to Zambia and Mozambique mid-2015, BASA returned to Mozambique in November 2015 to further the initial partnership with the support of the Mozambican Ministry of Culture and Tourism, European Union ACP.  Mavuso explains, “BASA’s role in this project is to introduce ways in which both government and civil society, through the arts, can work effectively in stimulating private sector engagement in the creative industry of Mozambique.”  Among the specific aims of the project, which BASA is spearheading together with the Mozambican Ministry of Culture, is building the capacities of culture sector professionals, through the development of a training manual and training workshops.  The project is also aimed at improving the regulatory environment of the culture sector in Mozambique, through legal reviews and an analysis of the regulatory framework affecting cultural industries. In addition to engaging with government and business, BASA also facilitated workshops on Audience Development and the ABCD model with arts representatives.



BASA welcomed three new board members, voted in at the annual general meeting in August 2015: Mrs Dorothea Moors, Mr Hilton Lawler and Ms Khanyi Mamba.  They joined existing board members Mr Kwanele Gumbi (Chairman), Mr Herman Bosman, Mr Richard Cock, Ms Michelle Constant, Mr Mandla Langa, Mr Andre le Roux, Mr Giovanni Mariano, Mr Carel Nolte, Ms Mandie van der Spuy, Mr Matthew van der Want, and Ms Gail Walters.  The BASA Board thanks former board members Mr Monna Mokena, Ms Gabriela Placious-Flusk, and Ms Florence Thom for their dedication to BASA during their terms of office.



For the last 17 years, CEO Magazine’s “Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government” awards programme has served to recognise and reward women leaders across Africa in the spheres of business and government.  In July 2015, Constant received the award for “Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government” in Arts and Culture in South Africa and the SADC South region for 2015.
In May 2015, Michelle Constant was elected to the Board of SA Tourism (SAT).  Constant said her appointment means she will be able to lobby and advocate for cultural and artistic tourism to be placed prominently in South Africa’s tourism marketing mix.  “Alongside being in a strong position to place the arts as an essential part of our tourism mix, I am thrilled to have joined such an esteemed board.  I am sure that I can learn a great deal from my fellow board members in a way that can only benefit that business and arts nexus that BASA is focused on.”  SAT is the tourism marketing arm of government.  It positions South Africa as a destination of choice, both internationally and domestically.  Marketing plays a pivotal role for the tourism sector, enabling it to be a lead contributor to economic growth in the country.



Michelle Constant and Lonwabo Mavuso attended the Canadian Arts Summit.  The Summit is organised by Canada’s Business for the Arts organisation and The Banff Centre, and ran from 10-12 April 2015 in Toronto.  Taking place under the theme “An Inspired Future for the Arts”, the annual event this year explored the social trends affecting the arts sector.  Discussions around ways of innovating, collaborating and transforming in the context of the contemporary environment were also part of the summit’s programme.  BASA’s presence in Toronto arose out of the National Arts Council’s facilitation of discussions between the organisation and Business for the Arts Canada.  The value of the Canadian trip was confirmed by Mavuso, who undertook an internship in Toronto during the weeks leading up to the summit.  “While working with the organising team of the Canadian Arts Summit, I had a great opportunity to get some insight on how Business for the Arts Canada operates.  This experience afforded me an opportunity to benchmark some our programmes and projects,” explains Mavuso.  “Upon my return I felt very excited and confident about BASA and broadly the South African creative industry.  The work BASA is engaging in continues to push boundaries, while finding innovative responsive way in supporting the arts.  This trip reaffirmed that we are not too far off in comparison to our international counterpart, and that BASA and our creative industries have much to offer.”


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