Sasani Studios stays open to film SA's big TV soaps

7de Laan's Vince and Aggie's TV wedding (Photo: 7de Laan)
7de Laan's Vince and Aggie's TV wedding (Photo: 7de Laan)

SABC2's 7de Laan is continuing production at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg despite other local productions being put on hold due to on-going coronavirus concerns.

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 have halted production given the rapid global spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

ALSO READ: From 'Bold and the Beautiful' to 'Love Island' - TV productions that have shut down

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 Channel24 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. Meanwhile SuperSport has suspended its HomeGround lifestyle sports magazine show, broadcast from SuperSport's Randburg-based studio complex indefinitely.

The SABC told Channel24 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, and that would have made use of a live in-studio audience or in-studio performances.

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