Saftas slam for withdrawing

2012-03-05 17:05
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town - The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), which organises the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), immediately entered the fray after announced that the broadcaster is pulling all of its shows and soaps from the controversial awards ceremony.

Moments after officially announced that the broadcaster is dumping its involvement with the Saftas, and pulling its presenters, shows and soaps from the awards ceremony, the Saftas fired back, critising's participation as having been "considerably low" anyway.

Crisis mode

The beleaguered awards show - boycotted in the past by SABC1's Generations, SABC2's 7de Laan, and with M-Net and reluctant to enter in the past, thereby giving the ceremony legitimacy - is now in crisis mode with the two-day ceremony to take place on Friday and Saturday at Gallagher Estate.

SABC3, which was set to broadcast the show live after it was not screened on TV last year, had to settle for a recorded show on Sunday after the NFVF moved the Saftas dates forward.

Insiders within South Africa's TV industry say has concerns regarding the judging and process.'s withdrawal comes after SABC2's flagship drama 7de Laan was discovered to not be eligible for the Best Soap category, voted for by the public, because the show didn't enter any of the other categories (like Best Actor/Actress). 

'Shock and surprise'

Eddie Mbalo, the chairperson of the Saftas and also the interim CEO of the pay TV operator TopTV, called's withdrawal "definitely a blow to the entire film and television industry".

Mbalo slammed saying, "Maybe if the broadcasters were playing their part and even contributing towards funding of the Saftas, the withdrawal would not be at the drop of the hat as is the case at the moment".

The NFVF didn't say what would be happening to categories in which shows and soaps are nominated. The Best Soap category will now also limp along, with the loss of two more soaps after the withdrawal of 7de Laan.

"The withdrawal by comes as a shock and surprise," said Mbalo. 

With too little time for the organisers to find replacements in categories, the Saftas says the ceremony will "continue to recognise those individuals that have already been judged and nominated as the feeling is that they deserve the recognition".


  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-05 17:38

    Who watches these shows anyways?

      Kanetso Michael Moleeko - 2012-03-05 18:44


  • carljdavis - 2012-03-05 17:48

    Like a "democratic" election in some countries....only one candidate to choose from!

      Nico - 2012-03-05 19:03

      Well said :-)

  • jancbotha - 2012-03-05 18:07

    ok so etv is upset about the safta's so they as a channel withdraw, not taking in account all the other people that worked hard on those productions that might enjoy some form of recognition. I know the safta's haven't been that great in the past and still have plenty of issues and stuff to sort out, but these sort of things take time. The American Emmy awards have been running since 1949, the safta's are only in their 6th year!!!! Two thumbs up for the safta's for still recognizing those individuals that worked hard on etv productions, taking in account that they have zero say over what channel decides. In the future, how about the channels just leave the safta's alone, and give the underpaid production people a change to get some recognition. I support the safta's and what they are doing in trying to build an award show for industry professionals, thereby not only inspiring upcoming filmmakers in this country to build a greater filmmaking machine, but also inspiring current filmmakers to refine their crafts. How are we ever going to compete with international film and TV markets if our channels are such a bunch of greedy babies. TV is the mirror of society, and SA TV is generally pretty bad. Maybe the channels must rather spend some time producing better content with better budgets, than complaining about the safta's.

  • khethelo.nhlonipho - 2012-03-05 18:57


  • Yolandè Rwaai - 2012-03-05 19:05

    Personally, I'd rather swallow glass than watch any soapy! Don't understand why anyone would watch them! Must be the ridiculous & predictable story lines, topped with the over the top, theatrical acting!

  • Leonard Van Vuuren - 2012-03-05 19:13

    Sounds like its more about losing money/sponsors then anything else,

  • Deta Maverick Rossiter - 2012-03-05 19:28

    Seriously..... This has been coming for a while. First 7de laan, now etv.... Either redo the awards with the viewers nominating a program. Or scrap it. Spend the money on better shows maybe? Just a suggestion.

  • Deta Maverick Rossiter - 2012-03-05 19:31

    Seriously..... This has been coming for a while. First 7de laan, now etv.... Either redo the awards with the viewers nominating a program. Or scrap it. Spend the money on better shows maybe? Just a suggestion.

  • Joan - 2012-03-06 07:19

    It's not a case of the channels not allowing their people to be recognised or whether soapies are good or bad, but as with many things in South Africa, the SAFTAS have been judged by many people not to have been "free and fair" from the beginning. About 2 years ago I think it was Generations I may be mistaken but it was one of the soapies, threatened to pull out because they didn't win any awards so the next year they were showered with awards... seems fishy to me. If people, that is all the makers of the shows, the actors, directors and all the other people deserving of recognition could be sure that there is no tampering with the voting system, everybody would be happy to be a part of this event.

  • bounca363 - 2012-03-06 10:17

    The SAFTAS need to be scrapped, their whole process is a sham. Dissolve the awards and start something new where the public is the only judge and not people being bought out. Im not aacusing anyone of doing this but lets make it a transparent awards show. We in SA deserve our own oscars.

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