SA hopes to draw film studios with $40 million incentives
July 01, 2004
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa will offer about US$40 million in tax incentives to
local and foreign film companies over the next three years to
promote the country as a prime filming location, the trade minister
"This will secure South Africa's place as a major place of
investment, like Spain, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K. and India,"
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa told a news conference.
Film production costs in South Africa are up to 40 percent lower
than the United States and 20 percent lower than in Australia, the
Major films produced in South Africa include The Gods Must be
Crazy, Cry, the Beloved Country, The Piano Player and
Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell are currently in the country
filming Ask the Dust.
"The film industry is one of the most powerful vehicles we have
to bridge the gap, to build stronger ties," said Jeannette Ndhlovu,
South African newly appointed consul-general to Los Angeles.
The worldwide entertainment and media industry is expected to
grow from US$1.1 to US$1.4 trillion by 2006 from trillion in 2001,
according to Mxolisi Matshamba, the acting CEO of Trade and
Investment South Africa. South Africa's entertainment industry is
currently valued at US$1.2 billion.
Productions with budgets exceeding 25 million rand (US$4
million) will qualify for tax rebates under the incentive program.
Feature films, documentaries, television movies and drama series
will be eligible for tax rebates – reality series and pornography
will not, Matshamba said.
A panel comprising officials from the Finance Ministry and the
government's National Film and Video Foundation will decide who
receives the tax breaks.
"We have talent and opportunities waiting to be tapped," Mpahlwa
said. "And we are blessed with breathtaking landscapes and a myriad
The minister said South Africa had many unique stories to tell.
"They may arise from an unfortunate history, but they are
interesting stories found in the most remote corners of the
country." – Sapa-AP
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