Of these, some 5 300 will be created as a direct result of the Dreamworld development.
To be built on the Vergenoegd Farm, in Faure, situated near the N2 highway and the Khayelitsha township, the project involves the phased construction of the largest film studio ever seen in South Africa.
Phase one will entail core components, including the construction of eight sound stages, various high-tech pre- and post-production facilities, digital facilities and music recording facilities for soundtrack production.
An outdoor backlot area housing standing sets on which backdrops of famous cities will also be built, as will a complex for the various production companies that wish to have offices at the film city development.
Moreover, a film industrial park will offer a base for supply companies, while Dreamworld studio will provide a one-stop-shop production facility.
The total value of the project, which is due for completion by mid-2006, is R490-million.
Dreamworld is owned by Anant Singh’s Durban-based Videovision Entertainment, local television station e.tv, and Mike McCarthy, a director of the Dreamworld consortium that won the bid for the construction of the film studio. Since February, when it was officially announced that Dreamworld had won the bid, the city of Cape Town has started work on rezoning and environmental-impact assessments.
Further, the provincial Minister of Finance has announced that the city and province will contribute R60-million towards the project to unlock private-sector funding, which is expected to amount to about R400-million. The R60-million will be used to fast-track the regulatory aspects and for infrastructure such as pipes, roads and electricity.
In a press release on Video Vision’s Website, Dreamworld chairperson Singh says he believes that this much-needed film studio infrastructure is set to change the face of the film industry in Cape Town and South Africa.
Video Vision’s professional team is currently in the process of finalising the planning and design phase of the construction programme. “Dreamworld will provide a right-sized, world-class, one-stop film city in an appropriate location that will entice year-round growth in film production to cater for both the current, and indeed future needs of this dynamic and growing industry segment in Cape Town,” Singh states. An economic-impact assessment undertaken by Dreamworld verifies the significant job creation that will arise from the project during both the construction and operational phases. Dreamworld’s empowerment and BEE scorecard reveals that the total project, including the equity portion warehoused for BEE companies, results in a project that has a 72,5% measured empowerment achievement.
“Empowerment is integral to the proposal by Dreamworld, and is addressed through a comprehensive empowerment protocol that recognises that it is not just a question of correcting the imbalances in the South African economy, but is an imperative to the survival and sustainability of the film industry,” Singh explains.
Dreamworld recognises the need for significant job creation and ultimately grass-roots participation in the ownership, construction and operation of the project, he says. “We will achieve this through our commitment to an empowerment protocol that will ensure that the benefits are spread widely, but concentrated in the Western Cape and to skills development through the creation of a film school,” he expounds.
Singh points out that the construction of the Dreamworld Film Studios would take place within the framework of a targeted procurement management system that “makes provision for Cape businesses and people, especially those from the disadvantaged sector, to receive preference wherever possible in terms of contracts and procurement, recruiting, outsourcing, and the full range of professional services.” Dreamworld has secured the participation of both the Peninsula Technikon and Kodak and other industry players in the film school.
The Dreamworld studio is located in an extremely scenic area, surrounded by mountains and winelands.
Singh says the position of the site will act as an investment catalyst along the N2 corridor that will directly benefit disadvantaged communities, which is in line with the Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town’s economic growth plan.
“Deliverability in this competitive environment is crucial and underpins the strong confidence that potential investors and financial institutions have demonstrated in the Dreamworld business plan,” he concludes.