Sindi Dlathu in The River. (Photo supplied)

Here are the top Safta nominees for 2020

The 14th annual South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) nominees were announced at the Mall of Africa on Friday morning.

Hosted under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) the awards seek to honour and celebrate South Africa’s local film and television talent, under the theme #LoveSATalent.

The NFVF joined forces with 205 industry experts from across the country to form a judging committee that spent over two months deliberating and rounding off the final nominees of the 70 categories, which were all then later audited by Nexia SAB&T.

Leading this year’s nominations is the popular telenovela The River, which raked in 15 nominations across numerous categories.

Close on its heels was the soapie Isibaya, the prison drama Lockdown S4 and the feature film Fiela se Kind who all clinched 11 nominations each, while the drama series The Republic rounded things off with 10 nominations.

"The love for SA Talent is certainly in the air and I would like to congratulate all our SAFTAs 14 nominees for telling authentic stories that resonate and connect with the people of South Africa. As the NFVF we couldn’t be prouder of the immense contribution that these women and men make to the local film and television industry, not forgetting the broadcasters that provide the platforms for these stories to come alive," said Makhosazana Khanyile, NFVF CEO.

This year, the power to decide who wins the Best TV Presenter and the Most Popular Soap/Telenovela will remain with the South African audience through the use of the public vote.

To vote for their favourite in these two categories, they will need to dial *120*45884# and follow the prompts on their screens. One lucky voting viewer will stand a chance to win fuel to the value of R4000 a month for 12 months powered by Total SA. The voting lines go live in the week of 17 February and closes on 28 March 2020.


Thembisa Mdoda - 2 Families and A Wedding Dress (Code 1)

Anele Mdoda - Celebrity Game Night S1(Code 2)

Graeme Richards - Expresso Morning Show (Code 3)

Entle Bizane - Hectic on 3 (Code 4)

Waldimar Pelser - KN Verslag in Gesprek (Code 5)

Sthembiso Dliwayo - Mi Kasi Su Kasi (Code 6)

Emo Adams - Noot vir Noot S44 (Code 7)

Masechaba Ndlovu - The Big Secret Season 2 (Code 8)

Christopher Jaftha - The Longest Date (Code 9)


Arendsvlei (Code 1)

Binnelanders (Code 2)

Getroud Met Rugby (Code 3)

Giyani - Land of Blood (Code 4)

Imbewu (Code 5)

Isibaya  (Code 6)

iSipho The Gift (Code 7)

Isithembiso (Code 8)

Muvhango (Code 9)

Rhythm City (Code 10)

Scandal! (Code 11)

Suidooster (Code 12)

The River (Code 13)

The Throne (Code 14)

The Queen (Code 15)

Uzalo (Code 16)

The 14th Saftas will be hosted at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre over two-nights: Craft Awards on Friday, 27 March and the Main Awards on Saturday, 28 March – which will be broadcast live on television.

Here’s an abbreviated 2020 Saftas nominees list:



Best Achievement in Directing – Telenovela

Arendsvlei - Denny Miller, Roxanne Blaise, Mandilakhe Yengo and Darryl Fuchs

Isibaya - Yamakela Phiwokuhle Mkhanzi, Lehlogonolo Moropane and Sthembiso Mathenjwa

Isithembiso - Zeno Petersen, Itumeleng Mohlabane and Lufuno Nekhabambe

The River - Ferry Jele, Catharine Cooke, Zolani Phakade and Johnny Barbuzano

Best Telenovela



The River

Best Actress – Telenovela

Crystal Donna Roberts, Arendsvlei

Leleti Khanyile, Imbewu

Sindi Dlathu, The River

Best Actor – Telenovela

Roberto Kyle Meyer, Arendsvlei

Hamilton Dhlamini, Isithembiso

Presley Chweneyagae, The River

Best Supporting Actress- Telenovela

Lerato Mvelase, Isibaya

Linda Sebezo, Isibaya

Mary-Anne Barlow, The River

Best Supporting Actor- Telenovela

Aubrey Poo, Isibaya

Lawrence Maleka, The River

Loyiso MacDonald, The Queen


Best Achievement in Directing - TV Soap

Binnelanders - Danie Joubert

Rhythm City - Eric Mogale

Scandal! - Chris Beasley, Sanele Zulu,Tsakani Mongwe and Sphamandla Ngcobo

Best TV Soap

Rhythm City



Best Actress - TV Soap

Mapula Mafole, Rhythm City

Denise Newman, Suidooster

Baby Cele Maloka, Uzalo

Best Actor - TV Soap

Nathaniel Ramabulana, Muvhango

Jamie Bartlett, Rhythm City

Bongile Mantsai, Scandal!

Best Supporting Actress - TV Soap

Xolile Tshabalala, Muvhango

Petronella Tshuma, Rhythm City

Kgomotso Christopher, Scandal!

Best Supporting Actor - TV Soap

Ben Kruger, Binnelanders

Mncedisi Shabangu, Rhythm City

Ivan Abrahams, Suidooster


Best Achievement in Directing - TV Drama

Dwaalster - Jaco Bouwer

Lockdown Season 4 - Mandla Ngcongwane

The Republic - Johnny Barbuzano and Rea Rangaka

Best TV Drama

Lockdown Season 4


The Republic

Best Actress - TV Drama

Dawn King, Lockdown Season 4

Zola Nombona, Lockdown Season 4

Florence Masebe, The Republic

Best Actor -TV Drama

Wiseman Mncube, eHostela

Robert Hobbs, The Girl From St Agnes

Warren Masemola, The Republic

Best Supporting Actress - TV Drama

Brenda Ngxoli, iThemba

Lorcia Cooper, Lockdown Season 4

Pamela Nomvete, Lockdown Season 4

Best Supporting Actor - TV Drama

Deon Lotz , Die Byl 2

Hlomla Dandala, The Republic

Seputla Sebogodi, The Republic

Best Children’s Programme

Disney Cookabout

Hectic on 3

Jabu's Jungle

Words and Numbers Series 9

Best Competition Reality Show


Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search 2019

Ultimate Braai Master

Ultimate House Vibe

Best Structured or Docu-reality Show

Durban Beach Rescue season 2

Living The Dream With Somizi Season 4

The Big Secret Season 2

Best International Format Show

Celebrity Game Night S1

Survivor SA: Island of Secrets     

YO! MTV RAPS (SA): Season 1    

Best Factual & Educational Programme

Made in Africa: The Ties That Bind Us

Op Seer Se Spoor - Episode 3 "Netta"

Yobe S2

Best Current Affairs Programme

Carte Blanche HD, TX 14 JULY 2019

Dying for Diamonds

Work Hazards

Best Variety Show

Die Ware Naarheid

Gospel Classics


Best Youth Programme

MTV Shuga Down South 2

MTV Shuga Down South 2 - In Real Life

Teenagers on a mission - Game Ranging

Best Entertainment Programme

Emo 30 Jaar In Musiek

Live Amp

Noot vir Noot S44

Best Lifestyle Programme

Dit Proe Soos Huis

Elders: Japan

Klankbord Season 1

Best Made for TV Movie





Best Short Film

Die Begrafnis

Joko Ya Hao

The Letter Reader

Best Achievement in Directing – Documentary Feature

Buddha in Africa - Nicole Schafer

Dying for Gold - Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Pakleppa

The Fun's Not Over - The James Phillips Story - Michael Cross

Best Documentary Feature

Buddha in Africa - Thinking Strings Media

Dying for Gold - Breathe Films

Sound of Masks - Lionfish Productions

The Fun's Not Over - The James Phillips Story - Rogue Productions

Best Achievement in Directing - Feature Film

Fiela se Kind - Brett Michael Innes

Knuckle City - Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

Poppie Nongena - Christiaan Olwagen

Best Actress - Feature Film         

Sandra Prinsloo, Die Seemeeu

Zenobia Kloppers, Fiela se Kind

Clementine Mosimane, Poppie Nongena

Best Actor – Feature Film

Albert Bakker, Die Seemeeu

Johannes Stephanus Bam, Die Verhaal van Racheltjie de Beer

Bongile Mantsai, Knuckle City

Best Supporting Actress - Feature Film   

Cintaine Schutte, Die Seemeeu

Anna Mart van der Merwe, Poppie Nongena

Elize Dunster, Skemerson (Sun, Cry, Moon)

Best Supporting Actor - Feature Film      

Wayne van Rooyen, Fiela se Kind

Patrick Ndlovu, Knuckle City

Thembekile Komani, Knuckle City

Best Feature Film

Die Verhaal van Racheltjie de Beer

Fiela se Kind

Poppie Nongena

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht.