SOUTH AFRICA FILM VISAS AND FILM PERMITS

South Africa film visa filming permitsSouth Africa has established a reputation as the premiere filming destination in Southern Africa. Progressive South Africa film visa application processes and systems,  and welcoming attitudes towards filming permits in South Africa have resulted in a very customer-friendly, welcoming approach to foreign film and television companies. This, coupled with the undeniable fact that South Africa is a very affordable location, makes a very compelling argument to them.

South Africa Film Visa Permit

Film Industry Visa Assistance Programme

Film Fixers is part of a strategic partnership with South Africa’s Home Affairs Ministry, aimed at streamlining the process of applying for filming permits – and making it a whole lot more user-friendly. This includes a seamless online application process that we initiate from our side – as well as a guaranteed turn-around time. It also means that we have sympathetic ears if we need to do things in a hurry, or if something goes wrong.

There is a small initial application cost (which Film Fixers absorbs) and then an additional fee paid at the embassy of application, depending on the country and permit type.

Once the pre-requisite visas are in place, all that remains is to identify and secure any permits and/or permissions required to film in specific areas. A lot of areas do not require any specific permissions, but in some of the more popular areas – like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban as well as our National Parks, permits are either recommended or essential. In some cases these are at no cost, while some do carry a fee.

 

Cape Town Film Permit

Cape Town Film Permits

Filming in most public spaces in the greater Cape Town area requires a permit from the City. Again, Film Fixers are members of the City of Cape Town Film Office, which gives us access to the online system where locations can be logged and applied for. There are no costs involved. There are exceptions, however, to this. The first is any filming in the Table Mountain National Park (see SANParks below), which commands not only filming permit fees, but in many cases the presence of Nature Conservation Officers (NCO’s) which also comes at a price. Although not an inhibitive cost, Film Fixers has an appointed NCO company who assist us in this regard at set rates in order to bring cost down. The second exception in Cape Nature, who manage the extensive provincial park network – which yields some amazing location options. Whilst they normally charge fees, they are very approachable based on the value of the exposure – and very pro-active in assisting in this regard. The third exception is Iziko, which controls the network of monuments and museums in Cape Town. Again, we have a good relationship with Iziko and, like Cape Nature, they are approachable and flexible.

 

South African National Parks SANParks Film Permit

South African National Parks (SANParks) Filming Permits

Besides being registered with SANParks, Film Fixers has a strong strategic relationship with them courtesy of a decade of television production where we have actively used strategic platforms to promote key South African assets (our National Parks) as tourism destinations.

Generally, permits are required for filming in the National Parks, costs for which will depend on the location, merit (benefit for SANParks) and timing (the more time, the more negotiating potential!). The process is quite laborious and time-consuming, but necessary – we take the hassle out of the process.

 

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Gauteng Johannesburg Film Permit

Johannesburg Gauteng Film Permit

The Gauteng Film Commission (with whom Film Fixers is registered) is establishing itself in the region. So while permits are not compulsory (there is seldom a fee applicable) it is recommended. Again, this applies specifically to public areas – any filming in private or commercial spaces will require permissions from the applicable bodies.

Film Fixers has, over the years,  developed strong relationships with most property development and management companies, including the Johannesburg property Company that manages public buildings.  Our extensive background in filming and adventure activities also means that we know of, and have strong relationships with, all adventure companies in the province – which is very helpful in getting access to locations as well as equipment.

 

Durban Film Permit

Durban Film Permit

As with Gauteng, the Durban Film Office is starting to make its presence felt and it is often a frustrating process getting responses and timely approvals – but we have built up a very good relationship with the Durban Film Office – with whom Film Fixers is registered – whose influence is restricted to the greater Durban area.

Film Fixers has built strong relationships with both the Ezimvelo KZN Wildlife Parks – who manage the extensive network of parks across the province, as well as both the two pristine World Heritage Site in the province – which includes the iconic Drakensberg as well as the unique iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

 

Film Permit South Africa

Other Film Permissions

Shooting in other regions of South Africa – whilst permit-free – are not devoid of unique challenges (and sometimes a bit of humour). Dealing with rural communities, for example, can require meetings with village chiefs and/or elders, which can mean sitting in a queue waiting patiently – sometimes hours – for an audience. Needless to say, with our experience, we are well-equipped to manage these situations and requirements with the respect and importance they deserve. Because these are what make the locations – and the outcomes on film – unique.