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 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 since 2016, it has endured financial difficulties, accusations of political censorship, and a scandal surrounding a former executive.

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 28 million internet users by 2016 - comprising around half of the population ( Internet access is driven by the use of mobile devices.

The press


  • 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 20 regional and national services in 11 languages, including: English-language network 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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