Johannesburg - The SABC will not be "invoicing" the Department of Social Development for Minister Bathabile Dlamini's appearance on the talk show 'Real Talk with Anele'.
The public broadcaster said on Friday that it will ensure that it's editorial policy review is cleared and explained to staff members to ensure that questions about sponsorship of programming are clarified.
This step by the SABC follows a revelation by the Daily Maverick earlier this week that Dlamini's department had paid the SABC R500 000 for her to be interviewed on 'Real Talk with Anele'. Dlamini's spokesperson Lumka Oliphant was the mastermind behind the idea for the interview that took place in December, days before the ANC's elective conference.
It was later confirmed that the department promised to pay R149 000 and not R500 000. Oliphant and Dlamini defended the payment and claimed it was usual for government departments to pay the media for interviews.
It is not SABC policy to pay for interviews and the broadcaster broke its own editorial policy when it arranged for the payment, the broadcaster's board said in a statement on Friday.
"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," said the SABC.
The broadcaster has faced massive backlash for breaching its own editorial policy.
In response it said its news and current affairs division was not involved in the matter and that the unit does adhere to journalistic integrity and editorial independence
“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,” said the SABC.