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The 17th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) celebrate the South African Film and TV Industry practitioners

By 1 October 2023No Comments

Johannesburg, 30 September 2023: The 17th annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs17) ceremony was held this past weekend to honour and celebrate the best of the South African Film and Television industry.

After three years of the disruptive, life-altering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which required the SAFTAs ceremonies to be held virtually, this year, the two-night awards ceremony was held in person at the Ghallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, Johannesburg on 29 and 30 September 2023, under  the theme “Our stories flow together”.

Over the past two days the country took a moment to celebrate and honour their favourite films, soapies, telenovelas, presenters, actors and actresses, who work hard to produce content that educates and entertains South African and global audiences. The ceremony was attended by the Honourable Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa and many from the South African entertainment industry.

Our hosts for the main awards show, South Africa’s much-loved Lawrence Maleka and former Miss Universe turned host, Zozibini Tunzi, excellently co-piloted the main show, which was a first for both! The awards were live on S3 (channel 193) and Mzansi Magic (channel 161) with the red carpet hosted by award winning multimedia entrepreneur Pamela Mtanga and award-winning Afternoon Express host Thabiso Makhubela, while the craft awards ceremony, held on Friday 29 September 2023, was hosted by Expresso hosts Kuhle Adams and Carl Wastie. The guests and live audience were entertained by performances from legendary acts such as Ntokozo Mbambo and Tuks Senganga while current favourites such as Murumba Pitch, Jesse Clegg and Lwah Ndlunkulu also graced the stage.

The SAFTAs congratulates all the winners from both nights, on receiving the coveted Golden Horn! The Multichoice Group scooped 45 awards, with its telenovela, Legacy, taking the award for Best Telenovela. Hela Media took home two Golen Horns, Best TV Drama and Best Achievement in Wardrobe for Lavish, while the critically acclaimed feature film Gaia worked away with multiple awards for Best Feature Film, Best Achievement in Original Music/Score (Feature Film) and Best Achievement in Cinematography (Feature Film) and Best Achievement in Directing (Feature Film). Tshegofatso Mosupye from Yo MTV Raps Uncapped won the coveted Best Presenter award as voted for by the public. This year’s host, Lawrence Maleka won his second SAFTA, Best Actor in a Telenovela for his role as Zolani in The River. The highly anticipated Blood Psalms won the award for Best Achievement in Cinematography while The Wife Season 3 walked away with Best Achievement in Directing.

The SABC worked away with six Golden Horns, where Sihle Hlophe’s documentary, Lobola, A Pride’s True Price? won the awards for taking the Best Achievement in Directing and Best Documentary Feature. Best Competition Reality Show went to Tropika Island of Treasure All Stars while Best Factual Programme went to Rebounders: Grizelda Grootboom and the seasoned Craig Urbani walked away with the award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama for Makoti Season 2.

Streaming platform Netflix received 19 awards with their comedy, How to Ruin Christmas leading the TV Comedy category with 5 wins. Veteran actress Nthati Moshesh who won Best Actress in a Telenovela at SAFTAs16 , won the Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama for her role as Grace Bhengu in Savage Beauty on Netflix this year. Leading in the Feature Film category was Pambilimedia with its Feature Film Silverton Siege, winning six awards.

ETV won 12 awards, with Scandal! from Ochre Media taking the Best TV Soap and the public vote for the Most Popular TV Soap awards.

Lifetime Achiever Award recipients were Mr Koos Roets and the late Mr Derek Watts. These two legends have contributed immensely to the South African film and television industry with their illustrious careers, and we are indebted to their incredible work ethic and longevity.

We also celebrated the Discretionary Award Winners. One of them being Jabaar Cassiem Mohamed who is the Producer and Presenter of Accessibility with Jabaar. Through his television concept Cassiem aims to train members of the disability community in presenting and production skills to enable them to use the show as means of self-expression.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the custodians of the SAFTAs, applauds the hard work and dedication of the SAFTAs jury who evaluated content and engaged in thorough deliberations to reach an outcome, in addition to the SAFTAs Committee who conducted extensive consideration for the discretionary award winners. NFVF Acting CEO, Thobela Mayinje, says “The NFVF congratulates all the winners for this year. You represent the best of the South African film and television industry. We are excited by all the films now showcasing in international festivals and markets. Feature films like Sihle Hlophe’s Lobola, A Bride’s True Price?, an NFVF funded film which also won an award today, showcases the depth of the South African film and television discourse and has been a conversation starter across the continent and the world since its release. ”

The full list of winners is available on all SAFTAs social media platforms, as well as the NFVF website (  



For further information:

Lerato Mokopanele

National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF)

Marketing and Communications Manager

Tel: +27 11 483 0880

About SAFTAs

The South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) were established by industry representatives and the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF), as an event that honours, celebrates, and promotes the creativity, quality & excellence of the South African film & television talent. They also serve to encourage the development of new talent, fostering a generation of filmmakers united in the collective mission of telling authentic South African stories.

About NFVF

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department Sport, Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the equitable growth of South Africa’s film and video industry. The NFVF does this by providing funding for the development, production, marketing, and distribution of films and also the training and development of filmmakers. In addition, the NFVF commissions research and produces industry statistics that provide both the public and stakeholders with valuable insights into the South African film industry.

About Multichoice (MCG)

MultiChoice Group (MCG), which listed in the Main Board of the JSE on 27 February 2019, is one of the fastest-growing video entertainment providers globally, delivering entertainment products and services to 21.1m households across 50 countries on the African continent. Its track record of more than 30 years is reflective of a commitment to provide audiences with only the best local, sport and international content. 

MCG’s strong partnerships with distributors, installers, and telecommunication companies, along with its well-established payment solutions, competitive pricing and choice of viewership packages continue to secure its place in the global market, while also providing solutions unique to the African market. Its direct-to-home (DTH), digital terrestrial television (DTT) and over-the-top (OTT) solutions enable the business to stay relevant and aligned to changing consumer habits while capturing new markets. 

Content is at the very core of the business. MCG aims to deliver quality content anywhere, anytime and on any device through a comprehensive video entertainment offering at different price points. As pioneers in African video entertainment, MCG plays an important role in making information and entertainment easily accessible to Africans. 

MCG aims to secure content rights in a manner that is cost-effective and reflective of the diversity of its audiences. Its substantial portfolio includes award-winning local content (a key differentiator in its service offering), a leading sports offering (including production capabilities) and access to international content, which is all shared on the group’s platforms: DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net and SuperSport. 

MCG has superior technology capability through the security solutions that Irdeto, its technology company, brings to the group. These solutions enable MultiChoice to protect its investment, create new offerings and combat cybercrime. With 50 years’ expertise in software security, Irdeto’s software security solutions and cyber services protect over 5bn devices and applications for some of the world’s best brands. 

About S3

S3 is a public commercial television channel – part of the SABC public broadcast network which includes the largest radio and TV platforms in the country. S3’s content bouquet includes cutting edge international programming and high-end local programming. Local content such as the telenovela, Isidingo, series dramas including The  Lab and Hard Copy and more recently the award winning The Estate could be found on S3. It was also the go to channel for aspirational lifestyle shows like Top Billing and high-end talent and fame shows like The Weakest Link. The latest international television shows include Killing Eve, Fleabag, Atlanta, Narcos Mexico and Enslaved with Samuel Jackson. S3 has rebranded with the tag line Open Up – a platform dedicated to stimulating curiosity, opening up to difference and entertaining our audiences.  

The SAFTAs sit on S3 as SABC has always prioritized local programming and the development of the South African film and television industry. Many of our most prolific producers started their companies with the SABC as the local platform. The SAFTAs celebrates the history of the television and film industry as well as the present programs delivered to multiple networks. S3 remains a partner to the development and creative excellence of the production industry.

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