South Africa media guide

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newspapers report the death of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Johannesburg on 3 April, 2018Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Newspapers report the death of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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 34.5 million internet users by December 2021, comprising 57% of the population (

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



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


  • 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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