The Federation of South African Cultural Organisations (FOSACO) was initiated in 1990 at a consultative conference held in Johannesburg. The aim of FOSACO was to establish a representative national structure for cultural workers and to initiate the process of developing a new national cultural policy. The Transvaal based National interim Cultural Desk was rejected by regional delegations from different parts of the country for its lack of representation of different aspects of South African Culture. FOSACO campaigned for the democratisation of parastatal cultural organisations. It was initially supported by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) but later adopted a politically non-aligned position, whilst maintaining the stance of a broad liberation movement. This in turn led to clashes with the DAC.
One of the organisation’s biggest impacts was in regards to the future of performing arts in the Western Cape. They came together with local groups and organisations, such as Cape Performing Arts Board to address the role of arts of performing arts councils, future programming, audiences and how to increase them, among other issues. One of FOSACO’s goals was to make art representatives of all the different cultures of and within South Africa. They also rallied communities and organisations to address the imbalances in skills and training, especially in the arts and culture sector, as well as the distribution of resources in disadvantaged areas.
FOSACO collapsed in 1992 after it was outnumbered by the business-friendly National Arts Policy Pienary (NAPP).