Monday, May 4, 2020


After days of our best efforts to get clarity from DSAC and other government departments, some of the fog of confusion seems to have lifted following a directive published this evening (see attached). However, we caution members that the situation is fluid and that we are working with information that is sometimes hard to interpret. We are doing our best to navigate through these tricky waters, and we will keep you updated as new information / clarification come to light. 

Our understanding at this time is that Productions commissioned by broadcasters are permitted to return under level 4 - subject to the directive. Productions that wish to resume must adhere to these directions and speak to their respective broadcasters regarding the protocols to be followed, which broadcasters must approve.

The directive expressly states: Each broadcaster must work closely with the respective production companies and the relevant industry bodies to determine the most appropriate “return to production” strategy and feasible implementation dates.  Implicit in this is that return to production should not commence until the above has taken place.

We commend government for recognising broadcasters’ responsibility under these circumstances and, by implication, the support they must offer productions to be able to function properly and safely under these conditions.

What is not clear in this directive is the status of projects that may not have a broadcaster attached. It is possible that this is because this particular directive is from the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, formerly DOC, so might only speak to film/TV issues in respect of broadcasters. It is also possible that further information might be forthcoming in Minister Mthethwa’s briefing tomorrow at 11:00 on the status of the DSAC’s Relief Fund.

If not, we will continue engaging with DSAC to get clarity on the way forward for the rest of the industry.

Tomorrow we will distribute and post on our website the Health & Safety Protocols that have been developed in association with SASFED and its member bodies, as well as indemnity and privacy template documents. We encourage members to get them signed by your freelancers. They have been drafted on a pro bono basis by Janet Mackenzie and her team at Baker Mckenzie and we are very grateful to them.

Together with the indemnity, we encourage members to share these protocols for maintaining safety on set. It seems only fair that if we are asking people to indemnify productions that we have to, at the same time, commit to keeping them as safe as is practicable.  

We know this is a difficult time for everyone and hope you are all managing as well as possible.

Your IPO Exco