Johannesburg - The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Friday conceded that it did not comply with its own editorial policy when Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was interviewed on one of its talk shows for R149,000.
The interview aired on "Real Talk with Anele" drew widespread criticism for seemingly being used as a public relations exercise by Dlamini, who is embroiled in the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants scandal.
The public broadcaster said the producers should have stated before and after the programme aired that it was a paid for interview as required by the rules.
"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. There has been a breakdown in internal controls and processes in this specific instance."
To remedy the situation, the SABC said it would inform Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS) that it would not invoice the ministry for the R149,000. The department is yet to pay the public broadcaster.
"In order to ensure that this does not happen again, the SABC is taking the following steps - firstly, as part of the 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.
"The SABC takes full responsibility for these lapses and breach in editorial control and wishes to communicate that the presenter and production company of 'Real Talk with Anele' acted based on SABC’s instructions.''
Its news and current affairs divisions played no role in the matter, said the public broadcaster.
African News Agency/ANA