City of Cape Town reopens film permit office

The City of Cape Town has opened its film permit office at the Civic Centre in the central business district (CBD). According to the executive mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, this comes after the national government announced that it would allow local film production companies to return to work during level 4 of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Plato said having the film industry back at work will bring some economic relief because the industry pumps billions into the City’s local economy. “This is an important industry because not only does it provide entertainment, it is a great financial contributor to the local economy, with an estimated R3.5 billion (about US$198 million) a year and employs thousands of people, creating job opportunities for our local Cape Town communities. 

“‘Ensuring the safe, regulated return to the film work of this industry will act as a catalyst for the return to work of the broad range of service providers that support this industry,” Plato said. 

The City’s film permit office has developed standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure all film workplaces follow regulations as per the Disaster Management Act. The SOP require that companies screen all staff, whether cast, crew or other worker, each day and keep a record. Covid-19 awareness and information notices must be pasted up around the workspaces and every employee should receive a copy. No more than 50 people are allowed on a set. Production sets should be regularly sanitised and equipment and props should be disinfected. Face masks and/or face shields must be provided to staff and sanitiser made up of 70% alcohol must be made available to all employees. 

Risk assessments and a Covid-19 mitigation plan for every location needs to be conducted before a film permit is issued. Law enforcement agencies will monitor compliance safety measures and mitigation from Covid-19 from production companies. Walk-ins for applications will not be allowed. Applications will only be accepted online and will be processed from Thursday.