At one point in the past few months, Cape Town had Hollywood A-listers Penelope Cruz, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Xavier Bardem, Claire Danes, Sascha Baron Cohen and a few others all here at the same time. Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift and Jeff Bridges were here at the end of last year and Dame Helen Mirren just arrived in the Mother City this week. I wouldn’t be a stretch to call Cape Town the Hollywood of the Southern Hemisphere, but all that could change with the government’s new visa and immigration regulations. A new study by the Tourism and Business Council of SA has revealed that the impact of the new regulations may end up costing the SA tourism and film industry a staggering R9.7 billion.
I already went over the new regulations for South Africans travelling aboard, especially those going with children HERE, but there are massive implications for the tourism and movie industry as well…the main ones being that tourists have to apply for their SA visa in person to get their fingerprints scanned. If you don’t have an SA embassy or consulate in your city then you have to travel to one. If you don’t have an embassy in your country then you’re basically screwed. As for the film industry, the new rules state that agents of actors are no longer allowed to apply for visas…the actors themselves have to do it. Also if a film production is delayed for any reason or longer than 3 months then the visa cannot be extended or renewed in SA.
Several experts have warned that the new regulation will have massive negative effects with some even suggesting a worst case scenario of a complete collapse of the service industry.
“According to a study (commissioned by the Tourism and Business Council of SA) on the impact of the new immigration regulations, the country may lose 270,000 international tourists and consequently lose 21,000 jobs annually – costing South Africa R9.7 billion!
Tourism currently supports one in every 12 jobs in SA.
Despite the outcry, the government has continued to defend their planned introduction of these regulations requiring biometric visas for visitors to South Africa.
Not only will this be a blow for tourism, but for another of our ‘big’ and most beautiful industries – the television and Movie industry.
The situation is quite complex, however the bottom line is that the changes that have been made make it very difficult for international commercial and photographic stills clients to enter South Africa and work here legally too.
Foreign models, who are a vital part of talent offering to clients, are also negatively affected by the situation as they too will struggle to meet the new requirements. [SA People]
I recieved an email recently from the Commercial Producers Association (CPA), the South African Association of Stills Producers (SAASP) and National Association of Model Agencies (NAMA) and they are trying to raise funds to legally petition the Department of Home Affairs.
Here’s part of the email.
On Friday the Democratic Alliance petitioned ministers to change the new visa regulations HERE.
Hopefully Home Affairs catch a wake up and realise how ridiculous and detrimental the new regulations are.