Cape Town in South Africa has a generous line-up of local newspapers that compete with the national dailies. Most of these newspapers can be bought anywhere: petrol stations, supermarkets, street vendors, and bookstores. Of all the local newspapers, The Cape Times is probably the most respected and popular paper, and will be found in any bed and breakfast in Cape Town.
This is an English newspaper that’s been around since 1876. Its owner is the Independent News & Media which is a Dublin-based conglomerate and the largest newspaper publisher in South Africa. It also publishes The Daily Voice, The Cape Argus, and The Weekend Argus which are also sold in Cape Town, and the national paper called the Sunday Independent. This company also publishes newspapers for local consumption in Durban and Kimberley.
The Cape Times has a circulation of more than 50,000 and boasts of a daily readership count of more than 280,000. Its sections include sports, business, opinion columns, news, society events, lifestyle and entertainment, classified and jobs. Each day, the paper concentrates on a particular special segment. For instance on Wednesdays the newspaper has a special section on property and rentals.
The original purpose of The Cape Times was to look like a South African version of The Times magazine with the primary function of exposing corruption in government. They also have a paid subscription online version with a 7 day free trial.
Cape Argus is another English paper by the same publisher with a readership of over 70,000. It’s considered an afternoon paper with light articles on entertainment, breaking news, and sports. The Weekend Argus is very popular because weekends in Cape Town are usually bustling with visitors and tourists. It sells a Saturday edition and a Sunday edition with readership of over half a million.
Die Burger is published by Naspers which has its head offices in Cape Town. It was originally printed in Dutch but is now published in Afrikaans. In 1914, the goal was to create a national newspaper but never got this kind of circulation mileage. As of 2011, its circulation reached as many as 171,000.
The biggest property guide with a circulation of 75,000 a week is the Cape Property Guide. It comes in 4 sections to cover different areas and has almost 250 pages every week. Property owners use this paper to advertise their homes for sale or lease and each ad is also seen in the paper’s online site. To get the same information via television, one might have to buy a flat screen tv (with HD) and watch multiple feeds at once!
Cape Town has smaller newspapers called community papers like the People’s Post, TygerBurger, Southern Suburb Tattler, Table Talk, The Cape Towner, City Vision, and City View. These are mostly freely distributed weekly papers that focus on specific readers based on location. Many of them also have ads for the local market and are sometimes considered to be the highlight of each issue.
Cape Town also has a special ad newspaper, Cape Ads which is dedicated solely for advertisements. It is published weekly and sells for less than R10. Ads are posted for free but if an SMS service is desired, there is a minimum rate of R5 per ad. Cape Ads is known as the “King of all Classifieds” in Cape Town with more than 40,000 ads in every issue.