Filming In The Western Cape
South Africa does not have film crew unions, but there is an accepted code of conduct with respect between producers and crew for working on long-form (feature films, TV movies and series, and documentaries) which film-makers in South Africa adhere to.
Crew work a 12 hour day, 6 day week. A 7th day is negotiable (see overtime payment below). Turnaround is 12 hours. One 10 hour or two 11 hour turnarounds may be negotiated so long as they do not precede an off day. A rest day is 24 hours excluding the turnaround.
1st AD, Costume Designer, Production Designer, DOPs, all production staff, trainees and runners are generally excluded from overtime. For the rest, overtime is paid at time and a half and charged in quarter hour increments. Wrap called up to the quarter hour is rounded down and wrap called after it is rounded up. On premium days overtime is based on the premium rate, not the standard day rate. Public holidays are paid at premium rates, as is a 7th day workday even if it falls on Christmas Day, New Year, Easter Friday, a Day of Goodwill, or a Sunday.
Transport must be provided for travel more than 40km from the production base, provided it is within reasonable distance from a major city. This travel time falls within the recognised 12 hour work day (see below for pay rates).
Pay for Travel to and from Location
Travel days that fall on standard days are paid at a half day standard rate. If they fall on premium days, a standard day rate is paid. Designated drivers are paid normal work rates and overtime rates. Travel over 40km on a shoot day between home/hotel and set is charged at normal pro-rata rates. If shoot and travel on any particular day result in overtime, pay rate is according to the above overtime rates.
If travel for over 40km is not provided, crew members can expect travel cost remuneration, either in the form of a car allowance or in the form of payment for mileage, both of which will depend on the type of car.
Breakfast should be provided if a call time is before 7.30am, and there should be a maximum of 6 hours between meals, which should last 45 minutes.
5 working days’ notice is required for cancellation and fees are only paid if the crew member does not have work on another production. Fees for cancellations made within 5 working days are 100% for the first 2 days, 50% for days 3 – 5 and 25% for days 6 & 7.
Crew are regarded as employees unless they provide proof of their status as an independent contractor. A contract is sent to the relevant agent for approval, but the crew member is responsible for signing it, and the agent bears no responsibility for the crew member’s actions. Where the contract does not cover all terms and conditions South Africa’s Basic Conditions of Employment Act terms will apply.
Generally, a full week’s notice is required to terminate a contract. A crew member may be dismissed for proven neglect of duty or incapacity, but only after they have been adequately counseled – and written confirmation of such counseling is required. In the case of serious misconduct, such as drinking on the job or the use of illegal narcotics, summary termination without pay is allowed provided a legitimate hearing has been held.
Credits where Termination has Occurred
Crew who have completed a minimum of 75% of the project are entitled to credits.
Producers must insure that public liability is in place. Crews are responsible for their own gear and for the insurance thereof and must insure themselves against accident, negligence, death and disability.
OSCASA, the Official South African Casting Association, provides guidelines for working with non-professional talent. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SAGA, the South African Guild of Actors, provides guidelines for working with professional talent. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Working with Children
A chaperone must be supplied for child actors and if they are on set for 3 or more consecutive days they will need a tutor, who may only teach them between 8am and 6pm. All children, regardless of age, must have a minimum of 40 minutes break between performances.
Child actor hours should be as follows:
There are two Acts which regulate working with animals on set in South Africa. The Performing Animals Protection Act No. 24 of 1935 requires the animal trainer to have a valid license, and the Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962 is about the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Please visit our downloads page for these two Acts or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Filming within South African National Parks requires a permit and the payment of fees. Please visit our downloads page for a schedule of tariffs and the application form or contact email@example.com for more information.