The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is delighted to announce the successful outcomes for the Development Grant Bursary Open Call.


In November 2020 ACT invited students accepted for masters or doctoral programmes in the 2021 academic year to apply for one of 10 ACT bursaries valued at R30 000 each. The bursaries were made available for study in any arts discipline.


The ACT Bursary Programme forms part of the ACT Development Programme, which is a long-standing arts development initiative sponsored by Nedbank and administered by ACT. Nedbank contributes to the South African arts and culture sector through its Arts Affinity. As the flagship programme of the partnership between ACT and Nedbank, the ACT Development Programme has supported more than 850 organisations and projects nationwide over the past 24 years, a contribution valued at more than R25 million in total.


A large number of excellent applications were received from across the country and the adjudication panel considered many viable and valuable research interests.


Marcus Desando, ACT CEO, says, ‘If there is one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it is the value of knowledge creation and preservation within the arts and culture sector. This has been exactly the calibre of applications we received; a group of very exciting and encouraging research initiatives that will be highly beneficial to our sector.’


We congratulate the following 10 successful applicants:


Nadia van der Walt (PhD in History of Art)

Temara Prem (PhD in Film and Television)

Mohau Mogale (Master of Arts in Music)

Gcotyelwa Mashiqa (Master of History in Advanced Issues in Museum and Heritage Studies and Visual History)

Camilla Pontiggia (Master of Arts in Fine Arts)

Nicole Clare Fraser (Master of Arts in Fine Arts)

Keitumetse Mbatha (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Ntombifuthi Nkuna (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Simangaliso Siyathemba Thango (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Thuto Nnena-Noko (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)


Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says, ‘The cultural and creative industries are essential for the development of our society, our people and our economy. We need to recognise and embrace that people studying and working in the arts and culture sector as they are the flagbearers of a more humane, more conscious, more self-inquiring nation. To achieve this we need postgraduates to research new ways of seeing and being in this changed world. We are incredibly excited about this year’s choice of candidates and we look forward to witnessing what they produce and who they become.’


We wish the successful ACT Bursary Programme applicants all the best for their studies in 2021.


For more information send an email to


Stay safe and practise social solidarity and physical distancing.

Together we will rise!





Notes to editors

Over 25 years of arts funding

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes ACT provides support to all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. For more information please visit the trust’s website. Follow the ACT on Twitter or like the ACT Facebook page.


About Nedbank

In partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R25 million to support over 800 arts, culture and heritage development projects countrywide. If you would like to make a difference to the lives of talented young artists in South Africa, simply link your Nedbank Greenbacks to the Arts Affinity and Nedbank will donate funds to ACT, at no cost to you. The Arts Affinity currently supports the ACT Development Programme and the annual ACT|DALRO|Nedbank Scholarship Programme. For more information download the Greenbacks app, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit