Tariff freeze keeps film industry in the frame towards post pandemic recovery

03 Jul 2022 in Where We Govern

While the Covid-19 pandemic has hindered the growth of the local film industry, the sector has worked hard to regain momentum after lockdown and travel restrictions were lifted. In the upcoming financial year, the City of Cape Town will put in place measures to assist the industry’s post-pandemic recovery.

As of 1 July 2022, the City of Cape Town is placing a freeze on all Safety and Security tariffs for filming within the city.

This includes costs for Traffic Services, Metro Police and Law Enforcement.

Parking tariffs will, however, remain.

This is the third time in recent years that the City has frozen tariffs to assist the industry during difficult times.

‘The film industry has been severely impacted by Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions. The City intends on providing support to this industry, which creates thousands of jobs across a broad cross section of the local economy. We believe that, no matter how insignificant they may be perceived, the freezing of tariffs after the 2017 downturn contributed to getting the industry back on its feet and into a recovery phase. It is our firm belief that by assisting the sector to reduce the costs of filming, we can contribute towards the industry getting back on its feet yet again,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security Alderman JP Smith.

The local film industry has seen a glimmer of hope in the 2021/2022 financial year. A review of Film Permit Office records shows the number of permits issued have already surpassed the previous financial year.

In the first nine months of the last financial year (July 2021 – March 2022), the office issued 3 948 permits.

‘What’s more encouraging is that in that same period, the Film Permit Office received more than 7 000 permit applications and some of these were during the worst restrictions. While many of these did not result in a permit, this shows that filmmakers and international clients are still interested in filming in Cape Town. With some of the best expertise in the world, together with our excellent locations and world class infrastructure and the ability to make any production happen, Cape Town is set to retain its reputation as a global filming destination,’ added Alderman Smith.

International productions such as The Woman King, Venus Flytrap, Project Panda (Netflix live action One Piece), Warrior, BBC’s Noughts and Crosses, Around the World in 80 Days, Boy Kills World and Raised by Wolves, among others, have called Cape Town home in this period.

Local productions Blood & Water, Arendsvlei, Shaka Zulu, Projek Dina and Recipes for Love and Murder were also among those to receive permits from the Film Permit Office during the 2021/2022 financial year.