Dreamworld coming true

Cape Town studio complex given greenlight

A proposed $70 million Dreamworld film studio complex outside Cape Town has been given the greenlight by the Western Cape government after objections by environmentalists were over-ruled.

The government chose the Dreamworld consortium, led by producer Anant Singh, in February 2004 to develop a Hollywood-style film studio in the province.

At the time, Singh said the studio would be ready by mid-2006, but start of construction was delayed by legal objections from rival bidders and complaints the studio would destroy a protected wetland at the proposed site at Faure on the Cape Flats, 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) outside Cape Town.

The delays finally came to an end late last week when Tasneem Essop, Western Cape minister of environment, planning and economic development, said an appeal by the Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA and CapeNature had been turned down.

Essop said the developers would have to provide $300,000 for conservation and come up with environmental management plans for the construction and operation phases of the development.

Around 8,000 jobs would be created by the studio, and it would boost the film industry in the region, creating even more jobs in the long term and injecting millions of rands into the local economy.