Filming in the Western Cape: Permits and Opportunities
The Film and Media Sector in the Western Cape has been identified as one of the main industries that have the potential to contribute to economic growth. The sector has grown rapidly over the last few years and has flourished into a vibrant, dynamic and internationally competitive industry.
Permits are regulated and issued by various departments at city, provincial and national level, depending on each shoot’s particular requirements.
Apply for a film permit
Film permits are required for all film-related activity including commercials, feature films, documentaries, micro shoots, music videos, short films, stills photography, student projects, TV films and productions and TV pilots or series.
If you need to apply for a film permit for any of the above, you will need to follow this process:
When is a permit required?
You will need a permit if your shoot:
- interrupts traffic on municipal roads or pedestrians on sidewalks,
- requires wires or cables running across or over sidewalks or municipal roads,
- requires the use of generators, tripods or dollies on sidewalks or municipal roads,
- impacts on public use of, or access to, public parking areas, community facilities, beaches, public open spaces, and nature reserves under City management, or
- generates noise and air pollution.
Whether you’re registering as a production company or commercial photographer, if you're in Cape Town, you need to be registered with the Cape Town Film Permits Office (CTFPO) by using the City of Cape Town’s online film permit system.
How to apply
The City’s online application system has been made easier and more effective to apply for a film permit. You must make sure that you are registered as a user on the online film permit system before you can apply for a film permit. When you’re applying for a film permit, you’re also applying for the rights to film in a public location.
- Visit the online film permit system.
- Complete each step of the booking process, providing as much information and detail as possible and then submit it.
- The City will log, confirm and process the booking and engage with you and relevant role-players.
- Once the booking has been confirmed, the CTFPO will assist with the identification and coordination of all approvals. It will also set the conditions of the permit.
- The City will issue the permit once it has been approved, and send it to the email address provided when you registered with the online booking system.
For more information on applying for permits, you can visit the City of Cape Town’s website.
Cape Town Film Permit Office
Civic Centre 10th floor,
Cape Town City Centre,
Tel: 021 417 4025
Operating hours: 7:30am – 5pm
The Western Cape is a sought after film destination. Major international and local productions are drawn by the wide range of locations, exemplary services and studios. Wesgro assists with production in the province, including regulation guidance and finding co-production parties.
Working and studying in the film industry
Conditions for working in film in SA
There are working rules for the Film and TV crew in South Africa.
Work Visas (short-term)
Cast and crew members from non-exempt countries must submit a visa application.
There are a number of study opportunities for people interested in the film industry:
Various incentives are available to local and foreign film production houses to boost the industry and promote the country as a film-friendly destination. The dti has created various incentive packages to boost local job creation, enhance South African creative and technical skills, and to promote the country internationally as a desirable film location.