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Filming and permits

Who needs a film permit?

Film permits are required for film-related activity, commercial film, video or still photo shoots that are conducted on public property such as roads and streets, sidewalks, or in parks, beaches or public buildings.

A film permit is not required for shoots on residential or private property where there is no impact or film-related activity on public property. It is also not required for individuals filming or video taping only for their own personal or private use, for employees of print or electronic news media when filming on-going news events.

Principally concerned with location filming as opposed to filming within a studio, the City’s permit processes are designed to manage all location filming on public property as well as filming activity on private land which may impact on public property or the use of public amenities.
This includes (but is not limited to) activities that: 

  • interrupt traffic on municipal roads 
  • interrupt pedestrians on sidewalks 
  • require wires or cables running across or over sidewalks or municipal roads 
  • require the use of generators, tripods or dollys on sidewalks or municipal roads 
  • impact on public use of, or access to public parking areas, community facilities, beaches, public open spaces and nature reserves under City of Cape Town’s management 
  • generate noise and air pollution

    The City’s Film Permit Office will facilitate and co‐ordinate the application and approval/rejection process for the staging of film shoots and liaise with the relevant City directorates and departments from the start of the application/enquiry to the end of the film shoot.

    The Film Permit Office does not unilaterally approve/reject film shoots. It consults with affected City service departments and directorates and jointly assesses applications for film shoots. Each application is considered on its own merits in accordance with inter alia, the City’s strategic objectives, legal and operational requirements.

    The Film Permit Office co‐ordinates the City’s strategic and operational requirements and needs with regard to filming and strives to accommodate these as far as possible.

  • Online Film Location Booking System
  • How to use the Online Film Location Booking System (updated, March 2014)
  • Film Permit information 
  • Company Registration and Indemnity Form
  • Film Permit Application Form (manual) -To be phased out



© City of Cape Town, 2015