Skeem Saam will not be defending its 'Most Popular Soapie' crown at this year's SAFTAs, after the SABC 1 drama show did not submit an entry for consideration.

The annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) will be held in March, however both Skeem Saam and SABC 2 soapie Muvhango will be absent.

Skeem Saam publicist Percy Vilikazi confirmed to TshisaLIVE that the show did not enter the awards because of time constraints.

"It would only be courteous for Skeem Saam to submit what we feel is our finest content from our vast footage. However, 2016 was a particularly hectic year for us, as we dedicated much emphasis to the development of our writers and actors.

As a result, too much time was spent on the efforts, preventing us from investing enough time to get all the required material. We have since had to prioritise what is meaningful for the betterment of the series," Percy said.

He added that the soapie hoped to "participate in the SAFTAs in the near future".

SABC 2 soapie Muvhango boycotted last year's awards, citing concerns about the judging process.

The soapie's associate producer Morishe Matlejoane told TshisaLIVE that they would be boycotting the awards again this year, as they not feel like those concerns were addressed adequately.

"Our stance remains as is. There has been little if any effort from the organisers to improve the judging process or allowing the public vote to hold higher rank. We remain stern in our views until a significant change is noticed.

"As mentioned previously, we seek to protect the integrity of our hard working crew and actors from the narrow views of a few individuals. It’s just not fair," Morishe said.

The National Film & Video Foundation's head of communications Peter Kwele said that he was "disappointed" by Skeem Saam and Muvhango's decision and promised to issue a full statement, but had not done so by the time of publishing.

According to the latest Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS) statistics, Skeem Saam and Muvhango are the third and fourth most watched shows in the country.

The glitzy awards ceremony will take place at Sun City from 16 to 18 March and will be broadcast live on SABC2 on 18 March.