City calls on public to comment on Draft Filming By-law

The City of Cape Town has commenced with a public participation process on the Draft Filming By-law (2016). Interested and affected parties are invited to submit their comments on the proposed amendments to the By-law. Read more below:

Cape Town remains a popular location for filming and the City strives to be a film-friendly destination. However, the City has to balance economic activities, such as filming, with the needs of residents who use public spaces. The intention, therefore, is to regulate short-term public nuisances which are linked to filming.

The proposed amendments contained in the Draft Filming By-law of 2016, if approved, will replace the previous Filming By-law of 2005. 

Among others, the proposed amendments include the regulation of filming on private property.

A community consultation process is also proposed which is foreseen to be the responsibility of the filming company concerned. Residents of such neighbouring properties would be given the opportunity to seek clarity on the planned film shoot or to submit their objections to the City.

The income from filming on a private property does not accrue to the City, it is to the benefit of the owner of the property.

‘It has become necessary to regulate filming on private property due to the number of complaints received from residents who are affected and inconvenienced by frequent filming activity in their neighbourhoods. Some residents feel strongly that certain filming activities, on a neighbouring property, infringes on their rights. The requirement to regulate filming on private property is a trade-off that will allow the City to balance the rights of residents with the needs of the filming industry. The proposals in the By-law will require some operational adjustments to be made by the filming companies,’ said the City’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

The existing 2005 Filming By-law does not regulate filming on private property, only on City-owned property. Therefore, the City’s Film Permit Office has not been able to have information on all filming activities in the city.

If approved, the Draft Filming By-law of 2016 will ensure that the City has access to better information, to respond to complaints and also enable a clearer understanding of the filming activity in an area.

In addition, as it is proposed that all filming be regulated in the Draft By-law, it has been recommended that the Municipal Planning By-law of 2015 be amended to allow for filming as a land use right in all municipal zones in an effort to reduce the red tape for this important industry. Therefore, the requirement for film companies and property owners to apply for further planning permissions such as an occasional use permit or a temporary departure will be eliminated.

Residents and interested and affected parties may submit their comments and recommendations from today, 22 July 2016, until 31 August 2016.

Proposals may also be submitted at local libraries, subcouncil offices, via e-mail, fax, post or online via the ‘Have Your Say’ option on the City of Cape Town website.

‘The film industry contributes approximately R5 billion to the economy and has over the past three years created more than 35 000 jobs.

‘Filming is a labour-intensive industry and therefore has a long value chain. The film production sector also adds value to a wide range of other sectors in the local economy through the creation of demand for products and services. The industry showcases Cape Town, its diversity of locations, its technical film capacity and talent and also provides value-added marketing and investment collateral for the city.

‘This booming industry ensures valuable skills transfer from international to local film crews, which is critical to the future sustainability of the industry. The film industry plays a vital role in the economy of the Western Cape. It stimulates growth, generates substantial employment, and brings in valuable foreign exchange. It is also one of the best forms of promotion for our city,’ said Councillor Limberg.

The global film industry revenue is expected to grow annually by 4,5% from US$ 90,9 billion in 2014, to US$ 110,1 billion in 2018. Based on these global forecasts, filming in Cape Town and the Western Cape is expected to continue to be a growth industry for the region.


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1299 or Cell: 073 271 2054, E-mail: (please always copy