Deukom Sweet Service and ZDF movie ‘Verschollen am Kap’ Sour Service Awards


The Sweet Service Award goes to Andrew Cowie of Deukom, who was very efficient in assisting with an upgrade to the Premier Smart Card for the German Bouquet, a process which had been most frustrating to sort out via Multichoice, a company which must have the worst call centre in the country!  Not only did Andrew get the signal sent, but he also followed up telephonically and by e-mail to see if all was working, and helped to get a second smart card set up for the same Deukom subscription.  Andrew helped cut through the ‘Germanness’ and bureaucracy of dealing with Deukom, being British but speaking a good German.

The Sour Service Award goes to ZDF and its screening of a two-part thriller ‘Verschollen am Kap’ (Lost in the Cape) on Monday and yesterday evening.  Clearly based in Cape Town, and filmed in the city centre, the 3-hour movie did not show any beautiful scenes of the city, and would be a major tourism deterrent for Cape Town, the movie implying that the public water supply could be poisoned, that Cape Town only has criminals living there, especially those with darker skin colour, that one can be tortured in Cape Town, that our city is not safe for young people, and that our hospitals are unsafe in that anyone can walk into a ward, dressed as a doctor, and inject a patient with a poison!  One wonders how the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) could have funded this movie, and how permission was given by the City of Cape Town and the Film Commission for filming such a tourism-damaging movie about our city!  The first part of the thriller was seen by close to 4 million ZDF viewers on Monday, on Germany’s third largest TV station.  TOP Productions and Media Film Services were local film companies involved in the production.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the website.

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9 replies on “Deukom Sweet Service and ZDF movie ‘Verschollen am Kap’ Sour Service Awards”

  1. What nonsense about the movie! Are you saying that every movie which is set or filmed in Cape Town must be a tourist showcase? This is clearly a fictional film and not a documentary or travel programme. Do you think that a thriller set in New York will deter tourists there?

    This is a classic case of when you clutch at straws to find a Sour award and you often like to link the Sweet and Sour awards for effect, in this case linking Deukom/ZDF.

    By the way I thought these were ‘service’ awards. How did ZDF screening this movie constitute bad service?

  2. I don’t know about the funding of the movie, but surely that happens to a lot of cities or countries in movies. You write a script and pick a place for your story and whether it has anything to do with the reality is debatable. I would assume that people are smart enough to see through that.

  3. The movie was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, at least in part, Annika.

    Surely if they put funds to a movie, they should be sure that it is not damaging to tourism to our country. We cannot afford such a movie series portraying our city so dreadfully and negatively!


  4. Dear Paul

    I NEVER have to ‘clutch at straws’ to find Sour Awards – I have 10 lined up, but sometimes the order of publishing them changes relative to when I wrote them. I saw the second episode last night, Tweeted about it, received a response from our provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde, and decided late last night to award the Sour Award to the movie, for the dis-service (get it Paul?) to tourism to Cape Town.

    It is much harder to find Sweet Service Awards, by the way!


  5. The DTI funding is intended to promote South Africa as a film-friendly destination. It grows the economy and provides huge employment, some of which is in the tourism sector. But the DTI grant is not targeted at promoting certain sorts of films or encouraging tourism specifically.

    As I asked in my original comment, do you think that a thriller set in New York will deter tourists from going there? And what about other films made in SA… Did District 9 scare people from going to Joburg/Soweto because of ‘aliens’? And did Tsotsi scare people with its depiction of gangs, murder etc? Remember that Tsotsi won the 2005 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and it wasn’t a feel good movie.

    Do you seriously believe that this made-for-TV thriller will deter tourists to Cape Town? Perhaps ask some of your many German guests what they think.

  6. Dear Paul

    I seriously believe that this movie did major damage to tourism to Cape Town. South Africa already has a bad crime reputation amongst tourists, and the movie reinforced what they have heard.

    The DTI would be crazy to finance film-making at the cost of tourism!


  7. @Chris .. Cape Town and South aFrica’s reputation, for that matter is bad amongst tourists because it is the reality of living and visiting this country. The high crime situation in this country has beenaround for over a decade and yet there has been no major effort by the government to combat it and make people change their perception.

    Table Mountain was recently awarded the ‘7th natural wonder of the world’…with all the muggings and assualts on the mountain its a wonder nobody has been murdered yet. The City Council recently closed Table Mountain Road at night because they cannot ensure visitors safety. This is typical of the authorities attitude and shows their inability to fight crime.

    Apart from the poisoned water, the film is correct in its assumptions about Cape Town.

  8. I don’t agree that things are so bad – but I did note the irony of the reported attack on local hikers on the Hout Bay side of the Table Mountain park, which the newspapers tried to link to the Table Mountain award, especially given that the Cape Times first broke the story about the credibility (or lack of) the New7Wonders competition.


  9. Paul..who is Paul?? Has Mr Paul SEEN the movie in question??? I dont think so. And, Skattie, you are missing the point…Murder, muggings, bomb blasts and rapes DO happen, but need not be included in an expose of the city. And PS, Mr Paul, fiction is fiction (Gangs of New York) (Tsosti) but this movie was not. Nor was it factual, as it seems that it was a gigantic labyrinth of misinformation featuring unresearched unsubstantiated gobbledygook!!

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