SABC STATEMENT ON DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PAYMMENT FOR AN INTERVIEW
Johannesburg, Friday, 19 January 2018– The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board’s News and Editorial Committee has now met and considered the payment of R149,000, yet to be received, from the Department of Social Development for the interview broadcasted on 7 and 8 December 2017 on Real Talk with Anele.
After receiving a detailed report from Management, the Board committee reached the following conclusions on the broadcasting of these particular episodes:
a The SABC did not comply with its own editorial policies on sponsorship of programmes, which requires that the sponsor’s association with the programme has to be stated clearly, both before and after the programme. In this case, this was not done.
b The SABC does not charge for interviews, and this was a breach of organisational practice. We do solicit sponsorship for programmes where it is part of a marketing campaign to communicate a departmental or other client programmes or policies.
c There has been a breakdown in internal controls and processes in this specific instance.
In order to ensure that this does not happen again, the SABC is taking the following steps. Firstly, as part of the current SABC Editorial Policy review, we will ensure that any grey areas with respect to sponsorship of programming are clarified and strengthened. The SABC will soon publish the new draft Editorial Policy for further public comment.
Secondly, the Board News and Editorial Committee has instructed management to immediately look at strengthening upward referrals, and ensure that measures are taken that staff across different genres, including entertainment are well-versed and compliant with Editorial Policies and ICASA regulations. Thirdly, that management will inform GCIS that the SABC will not be invoicing for the R149, 000, which was to be paid for the interview.
The SABC takes full responsibility for these lapses and breaches in editorial control, and wishes to communicate that the presenter and production company of Real Talk with Anele acted based on SABC’s instructions.
The SABC is conducting an ongoing review to ensure that our policies are complied with across the organization. We are committed to cooperating with regulatory and other bodies to ensure that we remain compliant.
The public broadcaster competes with private sector media players for government spend on advertising, sponsorship and marketing revenue. We shall continue to do so aggressively, without compromising our public mandate and our editorial independence, integrity and control.
The SABC remains committed to restoring the integrity of the public broadcaster and all its services, and will continue to act where there are breaches. The Committee is satisfied that these lapses were as a result of our Editorial Policies not being sufficiently integrated in our Entertainment division and that the breaches were not intentional. As stated, we will ensure that standards are lifted across divisions.
The SABC News and Current Affairs division was in no way involved in this matter. We assure the public that our News and Current Affairs Division adheres to our policy of journalistic integrity and editorial independence.
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