SAASP Proposed Process for the Issuance of Permits for Microshoots in the City of Cape Town

The following proposal has been made to the City of Cape Town. We have had an initially positive response but are awaiting further details on the process as to how this might be implemented:


  • 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 micro-shoot 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 micro-shoot 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.
  • SAASP argues that a more flexible, innovative process  for managing micro-shoots – via notification rather than permissions – could  be introduced to improve Stills Operation, remove pressure on the CTFPO, 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 two vehicles.
  • 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: Draft Permit Application
  • 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 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. We also believe it is not supported by the filming by-law.
  • SAASP also disagrees with the current applicability of ECOs. If members of the public can access dunes (or any other area) 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.