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Production on MultiChoice shows resumes as South Africa lockdown rules are revised

Production on a number of telenovelas aired on the MultiChoice pay TV service has resumed after the South African government gave the go-ahead to local TV producers to resume work under a partial relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules.

Under a recategorization of the threat as Alert Level 4 under South African’s system of classifying emergency situations, TV production, along with work related to electronic communication services, were among areas of economic activity to be permitted.

Broadcasting services, online services, productions for local broadcast and live streaming, advertising agencies, film and television productions using local cast and crew are permitted to operate under alert level 4.

Work on electronic communications services and network services – telecommunications services and infrastructure – is also permitted.

Areas of economic activity to be permitted under the revised rules include construction and related services such as telecommunications infrastructure, electronic communications facilities including the resumption of construction and fitting out of data centres currently being built.

Other sectors permitted include the wholesale and retail sector, ICT services and financial services.

MutliChoice said that production activity had now resumed on a number of its shows including drama series Gomora, The Queen and Isibaya.

MultiChoice set aside ZAR80 million (€4 million) to pay salaries to cast and crew of its productions during the March-April initial lockdown period.

M-Net CEO Nkateko Mabaso said: “At this stage, the safety of crew and cast remains a priority and we are in constant communication with production houses, as per government’s directive, to ensure that stringent health guidelines are in place and are being adhered to.”

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