The Langa Cultural Precinct Development Project

In association with the Langa Arts Association, the Langa Heritage Foundation, and the City of Cape Town.

“The aim was to introduce the idea of the Langa Cultural Precinct, and how the Langa Arts Association and Langa Heritage Foundation can formulate the structure of it in partnership with the city. (The most valuable experience of the workshop) was when we fused the LAA and LHF, and learnt from other existing organisations like Rust-en-Vrede. The workshop has enabled us to develop and create dialogue, and now we’re going to take that further to formulate the working structure for the Langa Cultural Precinct.”

The Langa Cultural Precinct (LCP) is a term coined by the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Department that demarcates an area in Langa that includes the Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre, the Langa Old Post office, the Langa Pass Office, and the open public space adjacent to Guga S’thebe.

The centre of this hub, the Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre, was initiated by the Langa community on a large piece of City-owned land in the late 1990s and was built through a partnership between all three spheres of Government.  Since 2007, following the collapse of the old board, Guga S’thebe has been without clear direction. Since 2012, the ACD has embarked on a path of positively reshaping the venue through several community development projects.

The Arts and Culture Department has envisaged the LCP to be a thriving community hub that empowered and uplifted the local community. In order for this to come to fruition, it was recently decided to hand the LCP over to two local groups – the Langa Arts Association (LAA) and the Langa Heritage Foundation (LHF) –over a period of three years, to ultimately fully and collaboratively run the Precinct in order to fulfill its vision of being an autonomous, community-run arts and culture hub.

AFAI was approached to help facilitate this handover, acting as an intermediary between the City of Cape Town and the LAA and LHF. Last week saw the first event in the ongoing handover process. Both local groups, the LAA and the LHF, took part in a two day workshop that took place in the theatre at Guga S’thebe. Workshops and discussions were led by representatives from AFAI, and a representative from the ACD, and focused on social enterprise, cultural management, formulating a business plan, creative vision and constructing governance and operational structure. Feedback was positive and we look forward to working with the LCP going forward.