28 April 2022




Thuthukisani is a business development programme that was started to empower a selected group of artists to implement and execute their chosen projects in a strategic and sustainable way. A total of 63 successful applicants, seven from each province in South Africa, will receive training. After thorough training and mentorship all participants will then pitch their projects for the opportunity to receive a cash investment. Only projects with merit and viability will be eligible for potential investment.


The name of the programme, Thuthukisani, is a call to action taken from the isiZulu word ‘thuthukisa’ (a verb), meaning to develop. Initiated and managed by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the ACT Thuthukisani Programme is supported by Nedbank.


The roll-out of the programme takes place in three cycles, with applicants from three predetermined provinces per cycle invited. Cycle 1, covering Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga, is in its final stages, and artists from Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal will soon be able to apply for cycle 2.


The open call runs from 28 April to 22 May 2022. Application forms will be available online at and outcomes will be announced in mid-June 2022.


Only seven ACT Thuthukisani Programme participants per province will be selected per cycle. After training has been completed, three projects per province will receive a cash investment and ongoing mentorship for the artist for the duration of the project.


To be considered for selection in cycle 2, applicants must meet all the selection criteria. Only South African nationals with projects taking place in South Africa may apply. Arts organisations and/or individuals must carry on an active, registered and compliant arts business (in terms of CIPC and SARS requirements) with an existing client base. The core business focus must be arts and culture.


It is also important for applicants to know that project plans or ideas need to be further developed and executed within 90 days, whilst complying with all Covid-19 regulations. Participants must strictly comply with and attend all training and mentorship sessions.


ACT CEO Jessica Denyschen says: ‘The first cycle of the ACT Thuthukisani Programme, which we rolled out for Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga, has highlighted the continued work that needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of artists and arts businesses practising in the creative sector. Cycle two of the ACT Thuthukisani Programme has been further refined and refreshed to keep honing in on relevant sustainable strategies for operating profitably in the South African context. The trust applauds the artists and businesses who are moving towards creating sustainable futures for themselves and, by doing so, creating opportunities for others in the sector.’


Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says: ‘The ACT Thuthukisani Programme goes beyond awarding money grants for projects, which are important but don’t always result in the watering of the initiative’s roots to grow and become an arts enterprise with a future, empowered with the entrepreneurial know-how to operate, evolve and be self-sustaining. The pandemic has revealed that this is an imperative.’


As a business development course, this programme requires a significant commitment in terms of time and effort. Selected applicants will need discipline and excellent communication skills and will be required to work with their mentor to develop their project plan. Acceptance into the programme does not guarantee monetary investment.

The allocation of programme slots is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision on all applications for participation is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


Applicants from the remaining provinces will be invited to apply in cycle 3. Details will be announced in due course. To keep in touch with the Arts & Culture Trust please visit the ACT website, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page. END


Over 28 years of arts support

The ACT is South Africa’s premier independent development and arts investment organisation. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the capacity for arts and culture initiatives to create sustainable futures, through development and investment in innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured development 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 ACT website, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page.



In partnership with the ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R26 million to support over 830 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 money to ACT, at no cost to you. The Arts Affinity currently supports the ACT Thuthukisani Programme and the ACT Tlholo Project. For more information, download the Greenbacks app, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit