Africa

South Africa profile - Media

Newspaper vendor in South Africa Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Zulu-language newspaper Ilanga has been published for more than a century

South Africa is a major media player. There is an established state-owned and private broadcasting scene, and a thriving satellite and cable TV industry.

South African company MultiChoice, which operates the DStv platform, markets its pay TV services in dozens of African countries.

The state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), runs TV and radio networks operating in multiple languages. But in recent years it has endured financial difficulties, accusations of political censorship, and a scandal surrounding a former executive.

The lively press scene is dominated by a handful of major publishing groups.

Reporters Without Borders says coverage of certain subjects involving the ruling ANC and government finances is off limits, or provokes a hostile reaction from the authorities.

There were nearly 31 million internet users by the end of 2017 - comprising more than half of the population (InternetWorldStats).

Internet use is driven by the use of mobile devices. Access is unrestricted, says Freedom House.

The press

Television

  • SABC - state broadcaster, operates three national TV networks, two pay-TV channels
  • e.tv - free-to-air, commercial; also operates news network eNCA
  • M-Net - pay-TV, pan-African audience

Radio

  • SABC - state broadcaster with regional and national services in multiple languages, including: English-language SAfm; music station 5 FM; Afrikaans station Radio Sonder Grense; Zulu station Ukhozi FM; Sesotho station Lesedi FM
  • Channel Africa - SABC's pan-African external radio
  • YFM - popular Johannesburg commercial R&B, soul and hip-hop station
  • 702 Talk Radio - Johannesburg commercial news and talk station

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