Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus: SABC2's 7de Laan continues filming at Sasani Studios as the multi-show studio complex housing several and SABC1 shows takes steps to clamp down on possible Covid-19 contamination.

by Thinus Ferreira

SABC2's 7de Laan is continuing with production and filming at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg although the local Afrikaans weekday soap, other productions also making use of the large studio lot, as well as the studio management, are taking steps to clamp down on possible Covid-19 virus contamination at the complex.

Besides 7de Laan several other popular TV shows and soaps on SABC1 and are filming at Sasani Studios as well. Danie Odendaal Productions, producing 7de Laan says it is working to try and minimise the possible contamination risk of the Covid-19 virus at the studio complex.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening declared a national state of disaster in South Africa and announced drastic measures to try and curb the spread of the virus in the country, including banning gatherings of more than 100 people.

In the United States and the United Kingdom soaps and multiple other scripted drama series seen on the BBC and American broadcast networks and pay-TV channels have shuttered for the time being given the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

7de Laan has not shut down and neither has soaps like Rhythm City or Scandal! - both filmed at Sasani Studios in Highland North in Johannesburg. The Venda soap Muvhango on SABC2 and Skeem Saam on SABC1 are also filmed here. 

SABC2 and Danie Odendaal Productions have however called off the 20th anniversary celebration "glamping" event and viewers' competition for 7de Laan that was set to take place on 25 March.

"Together with the management teams of Sasani Studios and fellow production tenants, are working collaboratively to mitigate the risk the of contamination and the spread of the Covid-19 virus," Danie Odendaal Productions told TVwithThinus on Wednesday.

"We prioritise the well-being of all our employees and business stakeholders and have therefore put in place measures that are aligned to the Covid-19 preventive guidelines of hand hygiene and cough etiquette."

"Should any incident occur that compromises this, rest assured a team is in place to deal with it efficiently."

So far M-Net's kykNET (DStv 144) has postponed the filming of the second season of its Afrikaans talent search reality competition show Maak My Famous with Emo Adams in Cape Town making use of an in-studio live audience at the Roxy Review Bar at GrandWest casino.

Meanwhile SuperSport has shuttered its HomeGround lifestyle sports magazine show co-production for Mzansi Magic (DStv 161), done from SuperSport's Randburg-based studio complex indefinitely.

The SABC told TVwithThinus that the South African public broadcaster is continuing with active local productions seen across its various channels but is postponing shows that would have started filming in April that would have made use of a live in-studio audience or in-studio performances.