Proposed Process for the Issuance of Permits for Microshoots

An estimated 70% of stills shoots are microshoots.
Microshoots operate as small, self contained teams of 10 people travelling in a minibus and a small, 1-ton panel van for equipment.
Their  impacts are similar to those of news crews.
The typical stills microshoot runs over 8 days and  utilises a range of locations, both private and public.
Producers typically identify the range of locations  they require in advance, and then apply for permits to guarantee access to  those locations.
However, the key to delivery of a successful  microshoot is flexibility; producers need to be able to switch locations on  demand – generally due to weather changes (which includes changes in wind  direction)
At present, this core element of flexibility is  constrained by the CTFPO permit process for microshoots, which demands each  location be pre-booked a minimum of 24 hours in advance.
Unfortunately, the CTFPO does not have the capacity to  administrate the levels of flexibility that microshoots demand.
In spite of this, the City of Cape Town has clung to  this outdated “permissions” procedure due to the demands of ‘governance’.
SAASP argues that a more flexible, innovative process  for managing micro-shoots – via notification rather than permissions – could  be introduced to improve Stills Operation and still retain the governance, diligence and reporting required by the City.


SAASP proposes the following:

  • a Micro-shoot Permit Pilot programme be introduced  that’s available only to SAASP members  (this gives government an added  level of security that any transgressors may be dealt with)
  • a 3 month Pilot, to assess the impacts on both the  Stills Producers and the CTFPO
  • available ONLY for micro-shoots –  a maximum of 10 people travelling in a minibus and a small, 1-ton panel van for equipment.
  • All microshoots must apply for a PERMIT PER JOB,  noting the days on set, and the proposed range of locations. (this gives the  CTFPO the opportunity to flag any conflicts)
  • The application must include details of Company, Job  and production manager
  • The permit is for the full period of the job. (suggest  10 day window)
  • Once the permit is approved, the Production Company  must notify the CTFPO each and every time it uses a new location
  • this could be managed as simply as:
  • Any production on set without a permit and proof of  notification will be removed from the pilot programme.
  • applicable ONLY to outdoor space that is free for public access  (ie if it’s behind a locked gate or door, it is not available through this scheme)
  • would NOT apply to city buildings – these still  require permits for access
  • would NOT apply to the Cut Off Highway – this still  requires permits for access
  • may NOT apply to blue flag beaches – these to be  booked as normal
  • any specific location required must be booked as  normal.
  • micro-shoots permitted through this pilot must always make way for confirmed location bookings – ie you must move on if a production has a specific permit for that area.
  • micro-shoots must abide by all existing by-laws – eg.  NO road closures / interruption of traffic, NO blocking sidewalks, NO blocking  footpaths or public access, NO public indecency  etc.

Other issues:

SAASP believes the management tactics of the CTFPO are not supported by the by-law and therefore should be removed. This will make the micro-permit even easier to manage.

  • SAASP disagrees with the 3-permits-a-day rule for  beaches and the beach front. We believe this is unnecessary since most  producers do not want to shoot in a location be utilised by other teams.
  • SAASP disagrees with the current applicability of  ECOs. If members of the public can access dunes without ECOs, we believe that  micro-shoots should be able to do the same. If the area is off limit to all,  then stills productions would also need to keep off.