File picture: Nicholas Rama
Johannesburg - Sekunjalo Investment Holdings has congratulated Lebashe Investment Group on entering the media industry, saying it now had the ability to play a seminal role in bringing about social change, not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the continent.

Lebashe is a 100% black-owned unlisted investment holding company with an experienced, multifaceted management team.

Sekunjalo chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said the acquisition was significant for South Africa’s transformation.

“Transformation of the media in our country is much more than a change in ownership. It is about making real and meaningful change at all levels of the organisation in order to bring about lasting impact and a truly democratic press where everyone is included in the narrative.

“When Sekunjalo acquired Irish-owned Independent Media in 2013, the company embarked on an intensive transformation campaign with the sole purpose of leading a new media revolution in our country - not one based on race, but on the message and the narrative,” said Survé.

Lebashe’s chief investment officer, Warren Wheatley, said they were well aware that it would take time to build a proper business model with quality content and good journalism as its key pillars.

“We are under no illusion that print media is a dying business, but people won’t stop consuming news or social media. So we hope that in the next three to four years we will be able to build a proper platform to continue to produce good-quality content that will further attract readers and this is the perfect vehicle for that,” he said.

The Black Business Council (BBC) also congratulated Lebashe on the acquisition.

“The BBC has long called for the diversity of ownership in all sectors of the economy and this transaction augurs well for socio-economic transformation in this important sector of the economy - media,” said BBC president Sandile Zungu.

The acquisition also sent a positive message to the country that black business should not mean small, but can also become big business.

The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) welcomed the “brave” decision by Lebashe to acquire Tiso Blackstar’s media, broadcast and content, “which is a flagship of African excellence continentally”.

The transaction comes just after Tiso on June 20 acquired The Media, The Media Online and DIY magazine and its digital platform, which represents a fairly balanced transaction.

ICTU media officer Thabang Mothelo said: “We, however, remain concerned that the two transactions represent a shift from solving the unemployment pandemic facing the country.”

He added that the Sunday World newspaper was said to have been struggling financially and this might have been the result of executives struggling to make decisions about various portfolios.

IOL