R55m injection for Independent Newspapers

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Independent Newspapers

Independent Newspapers chairman Dr Iqbal Surve says the group is working on the finalisation of a strategy. Photo: Ian Landsberg

Johannesburg - The Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium, the owner of Independent Newspapers, had spent R5 million on the group in the past few weeks and planned to spend another R50m in capital in the first year of acquisition, Dr Iqbal Survé, the chairman of the newspaper group, said yesterday.

He said the group was working on the finalisation of a strategy whose key priorities were the establishment of vernacular newspapers, technology upgrades and building on existing titles.

Independent Newspapers owns Business Report and the newspapers it appears in, such as The Star and Cape Times. IOL is the digital division of Independent Newspapers.

Media intelligence website Grubstreet reported on Friday that Independent Newspapers planned to launch a newspaper in the Eastern Cape.

It would be printed by Harry’s Printers, a private printing firm in East London owned by the politically connected Vrij Harry.

The report said that the plan was to launch the paper before or around the time of the general election and that the Buffalo City municipality had already committed advertising spend to the paper. It would be a tabloid in a combination of Xhosa and English.

Survé was non-committal yesterday on the supposed East London project. All he said was to repeat his intention of launching more vernacular newspapers. The Eastern Cape is dominated by Times Media Group through the Daily Dispatch in East London and The Herald in Port Elizabeth.

Survé was speaking yesterday during Business Report’s Twitter Townhall before leaving for Davos in Switzerland for the annual summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF), of which he is a valued member.

He said that at the summit he would interact with media moguls to share ideas.

The WEF summit, whose theme is “The reshaping of the world: consequences for society, politics and business”, starts tomorrow.

Survé said he expected the summit to discuss the huge income gap between rich and poor, and the economic power shift back to the US from China as the US began to recover from recession.

Survé said another main issue would be Africa.

He said he had been one of many who had been saying now was Africa’s time.

“I intend putting Africa forward as a great destination for investment,” Survé said.

He said the media had ignored Africa for a long time and instead reported only on its wars and famine.

Seven cabinet ministers would represent South Africa at the WEF, the National Treasury said on Sunday. Spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the ministers would update global business leaders on the country’s plans to raise the pace of economic growth. - Business Report


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