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Winners honoured at 20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard & Business Day

Eleven partnerships were honoured at the 20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day, during an arts-filled event attended by representatives of the business and arts community.

These prestigious awards honour exceptional projects that demonstrate the positive and sustainable impact of dynamic business and arts partnerships. This year was also a moment for Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) to celebrate its 20th year, an important milestone for the organisation.

20 years ago, a partnership between several South African corporates and the current Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) saw the founding of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). Over the past two decades the association has grown to include a wide spread of different stakeholders including 126 business members, the creative sector, organisations within the Southern African region, and a growing slate of project-specific partners.

Winners in this year’s award categories provide inspiring and compelling insights into the role that the arts play in connecting people and enabling transformation – and the different ways that business can support this.

“The Awards this year demonstrate great partnerships and the power of ongoing sustainability.  Once again it highlights the absolute need to ensure that the arts remain integral to our society – growing cultural capital and social engagement,” commented Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA.

“Hollard’s partnership with BASA is testament to the power of business and the arts working together,” added Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer at Hollard. “Fostering collaboration between business and the arts brings positive change and enables better futures: For artists, via the exposure that the Awards generate; for business, through the creativity engendered by the process of working together; and for society as a whole, through the conversation and engagement around the beautiful works that are produced.”

“The originality manifested in the arts is both an inspiration to businesspeople and an articulate demonstration of how creativity can enhance human interaction and social collaboration. Tonight has showcased just how successful this can be,” said Tim Cohen, Business Day Editor.

The 20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day, were held at Nirox Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site against the stunning natural backdrop of the Khatlhampi Private Reserve. The day’s experience was inspired by this year’s theme, Disruption. The guests were treated to an experience from the moment they arrived at the venue, with  memorable performances throughout the Sculpture Park itself. They were given the time to explore this remarkable space where nature meets art. The performances – in the form of activations – were provided by Buskaid, Moving Into Dance Mophatong, The Field Band Foundation, Olifantland and Vuyani Dance Company – all arts organisations which have benefitted from the positive impact of business has had on art through collaboration.

To mark the invaluable contributions BASA has made to South Africa’s arts landscape over the last 20 years, five illustrators – Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Imile Wepener, Ndumiso Nyoni, Johan de Lange and Ben Grib – were commissioned to visually narrate some of the organisation’s most significant milestones. Each of the 20th BASA Awards trophies, which were given to the deserving recipients tonight, features one of these beautiful illustrations.

Special thanks were extended to everyone who has contributed to the growth and success of BASA over the last two decades including the DAC, BASA board members, founding CEO Nicola Danby and founding Chair, Mary Slack. Acknowledgement was also given to all the business and art organisations that have supported and nurtured arts and culture in South Africa.

This year’s judging panel, which comprised Gianni Mariano, co-founder and CEO of the Mastrantonio group of companies, BASA board member and BASA Awards Chairman; Dali Tambo, media and heritage-tourism entrepreneur; Mandie van der Spuy, arts consultant and BASA board member; Kojo Baffoe, founder of Project Fable and KayaFM presenter; Nicolette du Plessis, CEO of the Field Band Foundation; Theresho Selesho, Director, Business Development at Boondoggle SA and entrepreneur; Christina Kennedy, arts and culture journalist and commentator; and Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation, was also thanked.

“Today was a fitting and fabulous event for an organisation with 20 years under its belt!  Thank you to everyone who supported it, and believes in the value of the arts!“ said CEO Michelle Constant.


20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day Winners

Friends of Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) – Marianne Fassler and breinstorm BA- for The Evidence of Things Not Seen exhibition and Visible Tones online and social media public participation project

Flanagan & Gerard Investments (Pty) Ltd & The Coloured Cube – Springs Mall Artwork Project

SA Taxi Foundation – SA Taxi Foundation Art Award

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited & The French Institute of South Africa for Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning Exhibition

Sasol & Association of Arts Pretoria for Sasol New Signatures

M-Net and DStv & The Cape Town Carnival Trust for The Cape Town Carnival

GE Africa Innovation Centre & CulArt Productions for Paragon Architects and GE Sub Saharan Africa for GE Africa Innovation Centre Localisation and Industrial Design

Mathews and Associates Architects cc & Cool Capital for Saadjies

Classic FM South Africa (Pty) Ltd & The Buskaid Trust for The Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble’s Annual Concert in the Linder

Rand Merchant Bank & ASSITEJ SA for Kickstarter Creative Arts Project

Gooderson Kloppenheim Country Estate Hotel & The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative for My Body My Space Public Arts Festival 2016


Special Award recipients honoured at 20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day

Human rights activist, Justice Albie Sachs, the Swiss cultural centre, Pro Helvetia and law firm Webber Wentzel, have all been honoured with Special Awards at the 20th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day.

The Special Awards are selected by the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Board of Directors and celebrate remarkable contributions by individuals, businesses, and organisations to the sustainability of South Africa’s arts.    The awards promote the core goals of BASA’s strategy, i.e. to act as a change-maker, and to facilitate connectivity and sustainability through robust and ongoing research and diverse public, private and civil society programmes.

Justice Albie Sachs was named this year’s Art Champion, while the Chairman’s Premier Award went to Webber Wentzel for pro bono legal service offered to the Gerard Sekoto Foundation from 1986 – 2017.    Pro Helvetia, was honoured with the Diplomacy in the Arts Award for ongoing support of diverse arts projects in Southern Africa.

“This year’s Special Awards winners are powerful endorsements of the ability of individuals, businesses and other organisations to make an impact on South Africa’s arts sector and highlight the extensive work that BASA is doing in creating exciting and innovative partnerships,” said Andre Le Roux, Chairman of the BASA Board.

Art Champion recipient Justice Albie Sachs’ appreciation for art began as a child.    While in exile during the ‘80s, he acquired some of his most precious South African artworks.    A highlight of Justice Sachs’ involvement and support for the arts is the Constitutional Court Art Collection.   In 1994, when he was appointed Justice of the Constitutional Court, Sachs together with former Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, sought the input of dozens of artists – local and international, renowned and amateur – as they decorated the court.    The collection, which is available for the public to see, currently holds over 450 pieces by local and international artists and was assembled as a symbol of one of the founding principles of South Africa’s radical new Constitution namely, Humanity.

Sachs, who currently resides on the boards of both the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa as well as the National Arts Festival, recognises the power of artworks to enable transformative moments of exchange and, in that way, fundamentally alter the ways in which we interact with one another.

“Judge Sachs has served on the National Arts Festival Board since 2008 and, in his tenure, has brought his considerable passion for the arts; his empathy; and his intellectual curiosity to bear on all that we do. He is a formidable ally in our ongoing mission to sustain the arts sector and position it to make a contribution to the rebuilding of our country. This BASA award is an acknowledgement of the entirety and integrity of his contribution – both seen and unseen – and we extend our warmest congratulations to him,” Ayanda Mjekula, National Arts Festival Chairman.

The Diplomacy in the Arts Award is given in recognition of foreign missions that contribute to the development and preservation of the arts in South Africa, as well as the continued prioritisation of cultural diplomacy between South Africa and the international community.

Pro Helvetia’s reaches out to most countries in the Southern African region in order to promote artistic and cultural exchange.    While raising awareness of Swiss contemporary arts in the region, Pro Helvetia forges ties with local organisations and event organisers.    In the process, it develops and nurtures long-term partnerships, initiates co-productions with artists from the region and organises tours and residencies.   Their programmes are interdisciplinary and exploratory in nature, placing special emphasis on music, contemporary dance and theatre, as well as visual and digital arts and design.

Pro Helvetia encourages initiatives that forge connections between the world of the arts and other fields of inquiry and work.    It also supports exchanges around critical issues and questions facing artists and the arts field within the differently demanding and complex realities of Southern Africa and Switzerland.


The Chairman’s Premier Award is made at the discretion of the Chairman of BASA and recognises sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.    This year’s recipient is Webber Wentzel for providing pro bono legal services to the Gerard Sekoto Foundation (GSF) for almost 30 years.

Gerard Sekoto is considered by many to be the ‘Father of South African Art’.    As a South African, some of his works have achieved extremely high value on the international art market with pieces carried in private and corporate collections around the world.

Since the original founding of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, Webber Wentzel’s legal team has provided free legal advice in researching Sekoto’s life, searching for his artworks and publishing books about his art.    To date, the law firm has provided pro bono work to the GSF to the value of R12 million.


Released on behalf of BASA by:


Bridget van Oerle / Sneziwe Dube

011 673 4995 / 477 0923 /