New visa law harmful to local film industry

The Department of Home Affairs now prohibits foreigners from using agents for visa applications.

The Department of Home Affairs now prohibits foreigners from using agents for visa applications. Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Film Commission says South Africa's strict new visa rules are threatening to make the country less attractive to foreign film crews.

Cape Town has become a popular destination for film shoots and television shows, but the commission warns Home Affairs may be throwing a spanner in the works.

The new rules prohibits foreigners from using agents for visa applications and visitors are also not allowed to renew or change their status if already in the country.

"From what we've seen already, it's going to have quite a significant impact, specifically on inbound productions, major international productions where we're trying to bring talent, directors and producers into the country."

The film industry in Cape Town contributes billions to the local economy.