Broadcast Regulation

SABC May Get In Trouble With South Africa's Watchdog

The Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) is holding a public hearing with regards to a complaint lodged by Media Monitoring and Support Public Broadcasting Coalition against the SABC.

The charge stems from an interview on SABC 3’s Real Talk with Anele of South Africa’s then-Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini. The SABC is accused of contravening Regulation 5.9 of the Sponsorship Regulations by allowing this interview to be aired without the broadcaster indicating the nature of the Department of Social Development’s association with the programme.

The SABC is supposed to state when a programme is sponsored, but in this case, it didn’t.

It is alleged that Dlamini’s office paid an overall R5m to the SABC for media exposure and an additional R149,000 in order for Dlamini to be interviewed on Real Talk with Anele. The two-part interview was broadcast in December 2017.

The SABC has admitted that it was in the wrong for taking payment from the Department of Social Development because this move was a breach of its editorial policy as the public broadcaster does not charge for interviews.

ICASA Councillor, Keabetswe Modimoeng said that Regulation 5.9 of the Sponsorship Regulations states that in cases of sponsorship, the broadcaster should always declare the nature of the sponsor's association with the programme before and after the broadcasting of that programme.

The recommendation of the CCC and the final decision of ICASA will provide clarity on how the SABC will deal with similar matters of sponsorship in the future.

The SABC’s board committee said that steps are being taken to make sure that errors of this nature are not made again, and that new editorial policy is being drafted so as to clarify any grey areas regarding the sponsorship of programmes.


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