South Africa adds to post production incentives

Regulation & Policy

Changes to the incentives for foreign film and television productions will enable local post-production companies to attract work that is not necessarily filmed in South Africa, helping to sustain and grow South Africa's film industry, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Announcing the changes last week, Davies said South Africa's film sector had enormous potential to bring investment into the economy, along with technology transfers that would upgrade the country's skills base.

"The South African government takes cognisance of the contribution the film industry potentially has in stimulating the country's economic growth, strengthening the country's profile in the global creative environment, and in the facilitation of employment creation," Davies said in a statement on Thursday.

"This is one of the best platforms ... to promote and showcase the country's creative skills."

Among the incentives offered to foreign-owned productions that meet the qualifying criteria are: up to 2.5% of qualifying South African post-production expenditure (QSAPPE) for post-production expenditure of R1.5-million to R3-million; and up to 5% of QSAPPE for post-production expenditure of more than R3-million.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the revised incentive is effective from April and will be administered for a period of three years, up to 2014.

"The objective of the incentive is to create an environment that takes advantage of the country's diverse and unique locations as well as low production costs and favourable exchange rates, which makes it significantly more cost-efficient to produce a movie in South Africa than in Europe, the US or Australia," the DTI said.

Davies said that promoting South Africa as an international destination in order to attract more international productions, while encouraging local content production, would ensure that the country continued to enjoy the benefits of a vibrant and growing film industry.

As to the quality of South Africa's offering, Davies said this had been attested to by "productions like Invictus, which was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, and District 9, which was nominated in the 2010 Saturn Awards for the Best International Film."