The beleaguered SABC and its SABC2 TV channel has been fined R10 000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for showing a sex scene in an alleyway at 19:30 during early primetime with no warning to viewers.
The BCCSA received complaints from viewers over the Afrikaans drama Swartwater on SABC2 which started with a recap at the beginning of an episode on 29 April showing "a sex scene where a man and woman were having sex in an alleyway".
"My four year old grandson wanted to know what they were doing. This is at 19:30," wrote one complainant.
"The act was totally open and disgusting for children and teens watching at the time," wrote another complainant.
The SABC admitted to the BCCSA that there was no warning at the beginning of the Swartwater episode and said the episode was "not deemed to have required ad advisory" although the BCCSA disagreed.
The SABC said "we understand the complainants' concerns and steps have been taken to ensure stricter use of advisories in situations like this and apologise for any offense caused".
The SABC has since moved Swartwater, along with the bulk of Afrikaans TV programming to SABC3, its TV channel which has the smallest footprint.
This has placed the Afrikaans drama slot, along with other programming like the SABC's only Afrikaans TV news bulletin, current affairs like Fokus, and other shows out of reach of millions of South African terrestrial television viewers.
Swartwater was moved to a timeslot of 21:30 where viewers have been unable to find it, leading to numerous complaints from irate viewers.
The BCCSA said SABC2 contravened the Broadcasting Code of Conduct by not showing a warning.
"We have a duty to give priority to the protection of children and the right of parents and caregivers to at least plan sex education at home in a manner that they deem fit," said the BCCSA in its finding and that "the parents had good reason to complain" about the SABC.
The SABC has to pay a fine of R10 000 before 31 August.