Cape Argus

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For the cycle race sponsored by this newspaper, see Cape Argus Cycle Race.
The Cape Argus
Cape Argus.gif
Cape Argus front page 20090721.jpg
The Cape Argus front page of 21 July 2009
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact
Owner(s) Independent News and Media
Editor Jermaine Craig
Founded 1857
Headquarters Newspaper House, Cape Town, South Africa
Sister newspapers Cape Times
Official website

Co-founded in 1857 by Saul Solomon, the Cape Argus is a daily newspaper published by Independent News & Media in Cape Town, South Africa. It is commonly referred to simply as "The Argus".

Although not the first English-language newspaper in Southern African the Cape Argus was the first locally to use the telegraph for news gathering.

As of 2012, the Argus had a daily readership of 294 000, according to the South African Advertising Research Foundation's All Media Products Survey (Amps) Newspaper Readership and Trends. Its circulation for the first quarter of 2013 was 33 247.[1][2]

Jermaine Craig is the executive editor of the Cape Argus.[3] He replaced Gasant Abarder, who resigned in early 2013 to take up a post at Primedia in the Western Cape.[4]

Chris Whitfield is the editor-in-chief of Independent titles in the Cape, including the Cape Argus,[5] the Cape Times, Weekend Argus and Daily Voice.


Saul Solomon, liberal parliamentarian and founder of the Cape Argus.

The Cape Argus was founded on 3 January 1857, by the partners Saul Solomon, Richard William Murray ("Limner") and Bryan Henry Darnell. However, political differences immediately surfaced between the partners. Saul Solomon was a radical supporter of multi-racial democracy, women's rights and the local "responsible government" movement; while his two partners were virulently pro-imperialist. As the Responsible Government movement grew in the Cape, the reactionary and pro-British views of Murray and Darnell became increasingly unpopular and alienated the Cape Argus readership. Saul Solomon, as MP for Cape Town, had also become the most powerful figure in the new Cape Parliament. Eventually, in 1859-62, Murray and Darnell sold their remaining shares and departed for the Transvaal.

Saul Solomon, now the sole owner of the Argus, through Saul Solomon & Co., threw the newspaper entirely behind responsible government and support for non-racialism. He was immensely influential in building and shaping the company, which quickly became the leading newspaper of the Cape, overtaking the "Commercial Advertiser" of John Fairbairn.

In later life, Solomon gradually withdrew from business. Sir Thomas Ekins Fuller, his editor from 1864–73, was replaced by Francis Dormer (with Edmund Powell as sub-editor), and in 1880 Solomon retired completely after the tragic drowning of his 5 year old daughter, which caused a collapse in his health. When his sons then mismanaged the business, Solomon took back the beleaguered company and sold it to his editor Francis Dormer, as the Argus Printing and Publishing Company, in 1886.

In December 1969, the paper was renamed The Argus, however the change was unpopular and the name was reverted to The Cape Argus. True to its roots in Saul Solomon's liberalism, the paper was a prominent voice of opposition against the dominant National Party during the Apartheid years.[6][7][8]


  • Tonight (Mon–Fri)[9]
  • Workplace (Wed)[9]

Distribution areas[edit]

2008 2013
Eastern Cape Y Y
Free State
Kwa-Zulu Natal
North West
Northern Cape
Western Cape Y Y

Distribution figures[edit]

Net Sales
October - December 2012 32 337
July - September 2012 33 006
April - June 2012 35 332
January - March 2012 40 243

Readership figures[edit]

Estimated Readership[11][12]
January – December 2012 294 000
July 2011 – June 2012 288 000

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Morris, Michael, Paging through History 150 years with the Cape Argus, Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2007, ISBN 978-1-86842-277-7