City goes to court over ‘illegal’ closure of film shoot

16 December 2020

The City of Cape Town is going to court after the South African Police Service shut down a film shoot on Camp’s Bay beach.

Red Petal was scheduled to begin production on a commercial when Police Minister Bheki Cele instructed officers to shut down the shoot.

The Minister is inspecting Cape Town beaches following the introduction of new national state of disaster regulations this week,

The shoot was permitted by the City’s Film Permit Office as required by the Film By-law regulating filming on public spaces.

“We are approaching the Western Cape High Court on an urgent basis for an interdict against the SAPS’s interference in a film production on Camp’s Bay beach,” said Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security JP Smith.

Smith added since alert level 4 of the risk adjusted strategy, film and TV production sets have been deemed workspaces and allowed to operate.

Earlier in the year, when regulations were eased the City allowed for filming on its beaches again.

‘illegal action’

“Shutting down the film production without proper cause is an illegal action and it goes against the current national state of disaster regulations which allow the film industry to continue working. I am concerned about the autocratic manner in which the minister behaved this morning.”

In the latest regulations gazetted on Tuesday 15 December 2020, filming on beaches in Cape Town is not prohibited.

The regulations only prevent the hosting of events, festivals, live music, live performances and loud music at beaches.

Smith emphasied that the City of Cape Town was aware of the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the municipality has developed Standard Operating Procedures for filming, which outline the health protocols to ensure film sets are safe work environments.

They also regulate the number of people on set at a particular time to ensure proper physical distancing.

For more on the health and safety protocols: