WATCH: Haunting drone footage shows a dead quiet Cape Town in lockdown

Business Insider SA
  • Cape Town has been turned into a ghost city, new drone footage shows.
  • The footage from South African drone company Step Above captured eerily quiet streets and intersections.  
  • There is a nationwide ban on drone flying, but the company is listed as an essential service and is legally capturing the footage. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.   

In a haunting video, South African drone company Step Above has captured Cape Town’s current dead quiet state during lockdown. 

Their footage reveals how the busiest streets in Cape Town, from its central business district to Hout Bay, have now run eerily quiet. 

See also: SA’s lockdown from space - satellite photos show near-abandoned highways and airports

“There’s a bit more traffic than people would think, but it's super strange… it’s scary to see. But, at the same time, it’s cool because it means that people are listening to the law, staying home and we as a country are taking the lockdown seriously,” said Luke Bell, Step Above drone pilot. 

According to Bell, the empty beaches, like Clifton were quite a shock. 

“I’ve literally never seen Clifton empty before. It was very weird. A close second would have to have been the University of Cape Town. It’s an interesting contrast when you compare the empty streets now compared with masses of people that were out on the streets during the protests when I was studying there.” 

Normally flying a drone in a city requires drone companies to follow a number of strict rules and regulations. Under lockdown these rules are even more regulated. As things stand, drones should not be operated unless their operators have permission to fly from the regulatory authorities and are listed as essential service providers.   

While the rules are meant to be strictly followed this hasn't stopped some recreational flyers from flying their drones illegally. 

Step Above's Remote Operator Certificate allows them to legally operate drones in controlled airspace, over people and crowds, near national key-points, at night, over national roads, and within SanParks. They are also listed an as an essential service and acquired the necessary permits from the Department of Transport and the South African Civil Aviation Authority to fly over these areas and document the stark changes during lockdown.

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