By Caitlin Bantom

In a partnership with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island filmed its 8th season in the Wild Coast right here in the Eastern Cape which resulted in job creation, upskilling and a financial boost for the Eastern Cape region. 

ECDC Senior Manager of Communication, Marketing and Stakeholder Management, Nobulali Myataza, said that the agency aims to put the Eastern Cape on the map as a film destination and their partnership with Survivor SA is one of many initiatives that aim at boosting the provinces economy. “The ECDC aims to profile the Eastern Cape as a film destination of choice. The partnership into Survivor SA: Immunity Island is one of many efforts to boost the Eastern Cape economy,” said Myataza. 

Along with the significant financial boost for the province, the partnership also made it possible for the producers to provide employment to 103 people across all departments of the show. “During production, we employed local people as carpenters, set builders, production assistants, camera and grips assistants, lifeguards and security personnel, as well as painters, drivers and art department assistants,” said Creative Producer and Series Director, Leroux Botha. 

ECDC Interim Chief Executive Officer, Mandla Mpikashe, said that the agency pursued the partnership with M-Net for its potential to unlock economic activities in the province and amongst the jobs created, many women and youth were employed as well. 

“Through these strategic partnerships, the objective is to develop the film industry value chain to realize continuous investments, job creation and skills development within the Eastern Cape,” said Mpikashe. “The ECDC investment of R2 million towards the production of Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island in the Wild Coast resulted in an economic impact value of more than R10 million. Of the 103 jobs created by the production, 55 were held by women and 60 were held by local youth,” Mpikashe added. 

Botha said that the financial boost of hosting the production in the Wild Coast assisted with the regions losses at the hands of industries and tourism activities closing down.

Survivor SA has provided the recognition that the Wild Coast needed in terms of tourism and the partnership largely contributed to both job creation and the provinces SMME’s. 

“The Wild Coast and its beauty have received and still to receive a much deserving recognition on an international level. Survivor SA: Immunity Island puts the Wild Coast and the Eastern Cape as a whole on many peoples bucket list and [Survivor SA] contributed immensely to the Eastern Cape’s economy through the employment opportunities created and the involvement of the Eastern Cape SMME’s during the shooting,” said Myataza. 

Myataza also added that the ECDC plans to attract and invest in similar productions going forth. “The ECDC plans to attract more similar international productions as well as keep our focus on investing in the local productions too.” 

The production team employed also gained many skills during the filming of the show and Botha thanks everyone for their contribution to the show.

“As the producers of Survivor South Africa, we would like to thank the people of the Eastern Cape for their wonderful contributions to the 8th season of the show. It’s shaping up to be our best season yet, and the way the show looks, feels and showcases the region would not have been possible without the tenacity, dedication and skill of the local people and the support of the ECDC,” he said.

Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island will premiere on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Thursday 3 June at 19:30. For exclusive show content visit the M-Net website, and join the conversation with #SurvivorSA and #mnet101 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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