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Showering love on local craft and design

Published on 3 June 2020

Many of the traders who usually fill the chilly winter air in Makhanda with exuberant sales chatter and infectious warmth, will be strutting their stuff in digital stalls at the National Arts Festival’s Virtual Green in 2020.

Marking its trajectory into this new territory, the Festival has partnered with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) to create new connections between crafters and markets and bring their work to a whole new audience in South Africa and beyond.

The CDI is a non-profit company with more than 19 years of success in developing creative people, small businesses and the craft and design sector at large in South Africa. The CDI is a catalytic agent of change in the sector, and passionate about developing appropriately skilled, resourced and digitally proficient practitioners who can successfully leverage opportunities for growth and development. It continues to work with government, corporate and international entities to develop an international profile for South African design, celebrating South African culture and heritage, and helping many South African designers to become household names around the world.

The CDI currently supports more than 5 600 businesses and individuals in the South African craft and design sector. The small businesses supported by the CDI range from start-ups to exporting enterprises and are based all over South Africa – from rural towns to urban centres. CDI’s services help these businesses develop the right product/service for the right market using appropriate business and production systems; and facilitates national and international market opportunities to help them grow. The CDI believes that entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking economic growth in South Africa and provides an annual programme of activities to help South African creatives thrive.

CDI’s online digital platform is dedicated to showcasing beautiful craft and design products made in South Africa and has been made possible thanks to funding by the national Department of Small Business Development.  

  • For more, visit the CDI website at
  • NAF and CDI will be bringing a wide range of gorgeous goods to a screen near you during the Virtual National Arts Festival, which runs from 25 June – 5 July.
  • Representatives from CDI and Peek will be panellists on the upcoming webinar on the Virtual Green. on Wednesday 10 June at 4pm. Register here