South Africa's largest vernacular daily newspaper Isolezwe on Monday announced the growth of its digital reach with the launch of a stand-alone website

The website will aim to bring together an online community for first language Zulu speakers, that provides local and global brands with a targeted market on a platform where they will be highly engaged.

Speaking of the exciting launch was Isolezwe's content producer Mcebo Mpungose, who said the aim of the website was to capture a younger, digital audience for the brand.

“This younger reader seeks entertainment and trends,” he said.

“When we made the move to build our digital platform, it was the case of combining the old, which is Iphepha lethu and the new, which is what people want online,” Mpungose said.

He credits catering to their reader’s needs as the reason for the stability of its print publication.

Readers expect journalists to report and post on trending news topics daily, Mpungose added.

“We have to package stories in a way that people on mobile will be able to consume easily. Sometimes people just want something to talk about.”

“We have plans to draw on User Generated Content. We want people to think of Isolezwe whenever something is happening in the community. To Whatsapp message us, or even share a voice note or a video.

“This will allow us to draw on content from the community. Sometimes readers don’t have contact with journalists and this will be a great platform for the community to report breaking stories.”

Adding to this was Group Executive of Digital Walter Madzonga who said: “We are excited about the launch of a dedicated Zulu website to compliment the success of the daily newspaper.

"The launch of the site is an important step as approximately 22% (12 million people) of the South African population speak Zulu as a first language.”

The Isolezwe team added that, with the launch of the website, it has great expectations for 2018.