South Africa’s Foreign Film and Television Production Incentive: How does it work? 


In a drive to encourage film making in South Africa, the country’s department of trade and industry (DTI) has a come up with a set of financial incentives, to encourage film and television production in the country. These include the  Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production incentive, designed to attract foreign-based film productions to shoot and conduct post-production activities in South Africa.

It exists alongside the South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production incentive and the South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive which aim to assist local film producers in the production of local content.

Here we briefly explain how the  Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production Incentive works as revised in 2018.

Mandatory Conditions

  • The international studio or holding company must utilise the services of a South African service company.
  • The applicant must have secured at least 80% of the total production budget at application stage.
  • The applicant must register a Special Purpose Corporate Vehicle (SPCV) incorporated in the Republic of South Africa solely dedicated for the production and/or post-production activities of the film and television project to participate in this incentive programme.

Compliance with Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment  (B-BBEE)

The SPCV and holding company must be in compliance with B-BBEE requirements as follows:

  • The holding company must achieve at least a level three B-BBEE contributor status.
  • The SPCV must achieve at least a level four B-BBEE contributor status

What makes for Qualifying South African Production Expenditure?

The Qualifying South African Production Expenditure must be

  • A minimum of R15 million for all qualifying production formats.
  • A minimum of R12 million for level one B-BBEE contributor status service companies.
  • At least 50% of the principal photography must be filmed in South Africa.
  • At least 21 calendar days of the principal photography must be filmed in South Africa.
  • For productions with a minimum qualifying expenditure of R100 million, the 50% and 21 calendar days requirements may be waived and such discretion will take into account the budgetary implications of the decision made.

The Qualifying South African Post-Production Expenditure must be at least R1.5 million for all qualifying post-production activities:

  • The post-production activities must be carried out in South Africa for at 14 calendar days.
  • The post-production minimum days’ requirement is waived provided that a 100% of the post-production is conducted in South Africa.

What format qualifies?

  • Feature film
  • Animation
  • Tele-movies
  • Television drama series and mini-series
  • Documentary, documentary series and documentary feature
  • Digital content

What doesn’t qualify

  • Speculative projects
  • Commissioned projects owned by a broadcaster
  • SPCV owned and/or controlled by South African broadcasters.

What format doesn’t qualify

  • Reality television
  • News Discussion programmes
  • Advertising programmes or commercials
  • Current affairs
  • Video gaming
  • Panel programmes
  • Variety programmes
  • Public and sport events
  • Training programmes
  • Soapies Pilots

For further information visit the relevant corner of the department of trade and industry to be found on this address:

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