Cape Town mayor Dan Plato announces the opening of the film permit office. 
Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato announces the opening of the film permit office. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town opens film permit office

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published May 21, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - 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. 

Member of the mayoral committee for safety and security Alderman JP Smith said the SOP had been shared with all applicants. 

“This document was shared with members of the film industry for comment and they have agreed to abide by the strict guidelines aimed at avoiding the spread of 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,” Smith said. 

Risk assessments and a Covid-19 mitigation plan for every location needs to be conducted before a film permit is issued. 

Smith said law enforcement agencies will monitor compliance safety measures and mitigation from Covid-19 from production companies. 

Smith urged everyone within the film industry to adhere to the protocols of physical distancing and proper hygiene to ensure the safety of all. 

Walk-ins for applications will not be allowed. Applications will only be accepted online and will be processed from Thursday.

African News Agency

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