People are at the heart and soul of Independent Media. Together with our growing unique online audience of nearly three million, our print publications have a loyal readership in excess of six million while our star magazines, GQ and Glamour, in partnership with Condé Nast International, offer a combined readership of 17,1 million local and international readers.
Independent Media is one of South Africa’s leading multi-platform content companies. Our stable of fine, quality publications include 20 of the country’s most prominent newspapers with The Star in Johannesburg, Cape Times and Cape Argus in Cape Town and The Mercury in Durban firmly entrenched in millions of households throughout South Africans. African Independent is the only title which serves the African continent and I’solezwe lesiXhosa provides daily news to the 3, 5 miillion literate Xhosas in the Eastern Cape. Business Report is South Africa’s largest business newspaper with 1,2 million readers.
Independent Online, popularly known as IOL, is Independent’s current digital offering, and brings millions of readers breaking news as events happen in the country and around the world. With a growing daily unique online audience, iol.co.za is one of the largest news and information websites in South Africa.
Independent Media’s established loyal base, is due to its uncompromising approach to delivering fresh, original content to its audiences, with the aid of cutting edge journalism from South Africa’s most talented news staff. People trust our brands. With diversity being our key objective, we offer news and information suited for every South African.
Independent Media is geared for growth. With the adoption of best global practice, investment in state-of-the art technology and the employment of highly skilled individuals, the company aims to become the leading content provider across media platforms in Africa.
As one of the oldest printing, publishing, and distribution companies of newspapers over the past 100 years in South Africa, what was formerly known as the Argus Group during the pinnacle era of mining, has surfaced as a precious gem that has only increased its value over the years.
The first newspaper launched by the Argus Publishing Group was the Cape Argus in 1857, which was the first afternoon daily in Cape Town. Modelled on the traditional best standard of the Times of London, the Cape Times was launched as a morning daily in 1876 to satisfy the growing demand for newspapers in the city. Equivalents like The Mercury, and The Daily News were launched in Durban to cater for the growing cluster of English speaking immigrants in the Durban region. The launch of Weekend supplements like the Weekend Argus in Cape Town and the Sunday Tribune in Durban, added to the flourishing print business of the Argus Group.
The golden era of diamonds and gold in Kimberley and the Witwatersrand created a publishing subway for the demand in newspapers for the bustling working class economy of Johannesburg, and surrounding industrial centres. The Star, which is currently one of Independent’s most successful newspapers, was launched in 1887 in Johannesburg to cover news in the region, and the Diamond Fields Advertiser followed in 1878. The Pretoria News was established north of the Witwatersrand goldfields in 1898.
The Argus Group’s ambition grew even bigger. They expanded into community newspapers after making an impressive acquisition of 11 more newspaper titles from the Unicorn Publishing Company in 1990. When South Africa took its first steps into a democracy in 1994, the Argus Group went international after being sold by Anglo American to the Irish newspaper group, Independent News & Media plc. Under the custody of the Irish, the Argus Group was renamed, Independent News & Media South Africa (INMSA). Additional supplements like the Business Report, Sunday Independent and Personal Finance were born, making the Independent newspaper stable a serious contender in South Africa’s media industry.
Once INMSA had established a competitive presence in the print media sector, their next goal was to expand their markets by becoming a voice for readers who were still struggling to be represented by established media corporations in South Africa.
In 2002, South Africa’s first daily newspaper in the vernacular language was launched. Isolezwe, which is read by millions of Zulu speakers largely based in KwaZulu Natal region, has since become South Africa’s leading venacular publication. The Daily Voice was established in Cape Town in 2005, to provide news and entertainment for working class communities in the Western Cape.
In 2013, INMSA was returned to home soil after being bought back from the Irish by a consortium led by the Sekunjalo Investment Group and was renamed Independent Media (Pty) Ltd.
• Sekunjalo Media Consortium – majority shareholder
• The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) managed through The Public Investment Corporation (PIC)
• Interacom Investment Holding Limited – China International Television Corporation (CITVC ) and China- Africa Development Fund (CADFUND)