As the deadline for the introduction of the new visa requirements looms, the film industry has arranged a meeting with the Department of Home Affairs to discuss its concerns. There are fears that the new regulations, which take effect on October 1, will affect the burgeoning film and allied industries, which use foreign workers. by Bianca Capazorio.
Writing in the Cape Film Commission's latest newsletter, CEO Denis Lillie said that representatives of the commission are to meet the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in two weeks' time.
"We need to understand the full reasoning for the changes to the legislation and see how we can work with the changes, or influence a review to ensure that the best solutions are implemented for the security of the country and to ensure that the economic growth of the [film] industry, together with sustainable job creation, is not compromised," Lillie said in the newsletter.
From next month, visa applications will have to be made in person at a South African mission abroad. This is problematic for producers of films that require large crews travelling to this country from different parts of the world.
Another problem is that a visa can be extended or altered only outside South Africa.
The Western Cape department of economic development and tourism launched a petition to request a year-long postponement of the implementation of the new visa regulations.
The petition cites independent research that "found that the regulations will cost South Africa R10-billion in tourism income alone and a loss of 21000 jobs".
Efforts to get comment from the Department of Home Affairs were unsuccessful.