The City of Cape Town will reopen the film permitting process, following the announcement by national government to allow local production film companies to return to work. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town will reopen the film permitting process, following the announcement by national government to allow local production film companies to return to work. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town film industry gets green light by City as permit office reopens

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 8, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town will reopen the film permitting process, following the announcement by national government to allow local production film companies to return to work.

As part of its permitting process, the City’s Film Permit Office has developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aimed at ensuring all film workplaces adhere to regulations as required by the National Disaster Management Act. The document will serve as a guideline for the film industry in dealing with Covid-19. 

"It also outlines the basic technical measures the companies have to put in place in the workplace to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to protect their employees. These procedures have been circulated to the sector to provide input before they are approved by the City.

"This gives the industry an opportunity to have foresight of the film permit office’s proposed procedures and make the necessary adjustments in their workplace to comply with the National Disaster Management Act regulations," said JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security.

Some of the highlights of the proposed SOP include:

- Screening of staff, cast and crew daily at the start of each shift/shoot for symptoms of coronavirus and recording their daily temperatures

- Covid-19 awareness information including workplace protocols. This should be displayed in common areas and copied to all personnel

- Regular disinfection of production sets/workspaces before and after filming

- Mandatory cloth masks or face shields for cast and crew

- Number of people on set should not exceed 50 people as directed by the Arts and Culture Minister

- Disinfection of workplace equipment and props before they are returned to storage or service providers

- Only permitted people allowed on set

- Hand sanitiser that is 70% alcohol-based must be made available for all cast, crew and service providers on sets and workspaces 

The protocols are in line with the National Department of Health’s Covid-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in the workplace. 

In addition, they also take into account the Labour Department’s directives for employers returning to work. These include:

- Undertaking risk assessments and developing implementation plans for workplaces

- Ensuring the required social distancing is adhered to in the workplace

- Screening workers at the time that they report for work

- Providing sanitiser, disinfectants and other measures to sanitise work areas

- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a minimum of two cloth masks for each employee, free of charge

"This is an important industry because not only does it provide entertainment, it employs thousands of people and is a great contributor to the local economy with about R3.5-billion annually.

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

"The City, more specifically the film permit office working in tandem with our law enforcement agencies, will monitor compliance and assist production companies in implementing health and safety measures."

The full list of draft protocols is available at https://film.investcapetown.com/cape-town-film-industry-covid-19-draft-standard-operating-procedures/ for comment until 09:00 on Monday, 11 May 2020.

Cape Argus

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