New daily unveiled next week
Johannesburg - Details of The New Age, a daily newspaper which launches on September 1 with an initial print run of 170 000, will be disclosed at a media briefing on July 22. Invitations to the event, at Johannesburg's Summer Place, were sent out on Thursday.
It will be edited by former SABC political editor, and before that Business Day journalist Vuyo Mvoko.
Scepticism about the prospects for the paper in a declining industry runs deep. Deon du Plessis, publisher of South Africa's biggest-selling daily paper, The Daily Sun, told the Daily Maverick today that The New Age's backers would need deep pockets. "It's an expensive business," he said. "There are easier ways of making money."
There has been speculation that it will be an ANC-aligned publication, due to the close ties between the new publication’s owners, the Gupta family, and members of the government including President Jacob Zuma. But this has been strenuously denied.
The Gupta brothers, Atul, Anil and Rajesh, arrived in South Africa in 1993, members of a prominent entrepreneurial Indian family with branches in other parts of the world.
They established Sahara, which assembles and markets its range of PCs and laptop computers in SA, and have interests in mining.
Sahara has become widely known through its cricket sponsorship, which includes naming rights to three South African cricket grounds.
This will not be the family's first involvement in publishing. Last year it put some money into a political journal, The Thinker, owned and edited by former Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad.