26 May 2020
Following the announcement by National Government to allow local production film companies to return to work, the City of Cape Town has reopened its film permitting process.
The permit process will be guided by the City of Cape Town’s Film Permit Office’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aimed at safeguarding the health of those on sets and other film production workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important that everyone who will be stepping into a set or production space adheres to the protocols available here.
A flurry of questions, from the film industry, about returning to work and the procedures that need to be followed have been received.
To avoid repetition and to encourage time efficiencies, we have collated the most frequently asked questions, with answers below.
Companies can register through National Government’s BizPortal with Trade and Industry Department guidelines. Ensure you are using a permit issued on or after 1 May 2020.
Anybody that is permitted to work outside their home under Level 4 must carry a Permit to Perform an Essential or Permitted Service, issued by the head of the company or institution. This permit must always be accompanied by identification, either an ID or driving license.
Return to work is also subject to strict health protocols, social distancing rules and a phased-in approach to ensure better implementation of risk reduction measures
All legislation, unless superseded by Disaster Management regulations, remain applicable – this includes Municipal Bylaws. In addition to obtaining all permissions previously required for residential shoots, permissions in terms of Level 4 regulations relating to travelling, etc. must be obtained.
You will have to notify the Film Office via email on firstname.lastname@example.org of your shoot at any private location. This will allow the City to monitor compliance, in line with the Level 4 requirements.
The above facilities remain closed under level 4 lockdown regulations. The City is however engaging various stakeholders to evaluate whether some of these facilities can be utilised for filming during level 4 lockdown. If this is possible, communication will be sent to stakeholders via the City’s Permit Office.
However, keep in mind that every City department managing any City facility, location, etc. will in terms of the Regulations, have to complete a risk assessment and produce an implementation plan for every workplace. This process has commenced but may still take a while.
In terms of the Disaster Management Act Directions by the Minister Sports Arts and Culture on 4 May 2020, the following filming activities are allowed – subject to mitigation measures:
Filming on the beach is allowed under the Disaster Management Act Directions regulations. It’s also important to note that under level 1, it is no longer a requirement to apply for a permit to do recces on beaches and the parks.
Photographers are included if they are working as per the activities permitted in terms of Level 4 Regulations.
All current legislation and requirements must still be complied with, except where directly superseded by Disaster Management Regulations. Accordingly, the existing Labour Department requirements in terms of children on set still apply.
It is the responsibility of the company, through its COVID-19 Compliance Officer, to ensure all those on set are properly equipped and protected against virus. City staff will also be monitoring film sets and production workspaces to ensure compliance.
In the event that a person(s) test positive for the virus, National Health Department protocols require that the workplace to be closed and properly disinfected before it is opened again.
All persons who come into contact with the infected person are required to go into 14-day quarantine.
To access Guidelines for symptom monitoring and management of essential workers for COVID-19 related infection click here
In terms of the Disaster Risk Management directions by the Minister Sports Arts and Culture on 4 May 2020, the following filming activities are allowed – subject to COVID-19 mitigation measures
Film and Television productions using local cast, living legends and crew. This includes jobs throughout the value chain of production, post-production such as technical crew of sound engineers, special effects and animator
Please note that gear and other services companies returning to work under Level 4 will need to, inter alia:
In terms of the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations, 29 April 2020, places or premises normally open to the public, including hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, AirBnB, resorts. guest houses, are closed to the public except where they are required for remaining tourist confined to hotels, lodges and guest houses.
Yes, vehicle hire and all other film servicing companies are permitted to work – – subject to compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures – if they are working as per the activities permitted in terms of Level 4 Regulations.
Do we have to carry any paperwork when we travel locally or across provinces for our productions? What (if any) are the restrictions?
At this time (level 4) travel between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts is prohibited except for commuting to and from work on a daily basis.
Furthermore, service providers commissioned by/servicing a production company must ensure that all staff/crew travelling to undertake filming – related activities permitted under Level 4 must at all times have the following on their person at all times:
In terms of current national regulations, the entire production including cast and crew may not exceed 75 people at any one time – and this would include City officials on set.
Given the additional considerations in terms of the Level 4 requirements, the lead time for issuing of permits is 72 working hours, NB. this excludes weekends and public holidays.
The lead time for road closure applications will remain the same i.e. 5 working days.
NOTE: The SOPs will be reviewed and updated in line with National Government announcementsSTANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES