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) Sekunjalo
Editor Jermaine Craig
Founded 1857
Headquarters Newspaper House, Cape Town, South Africa
Sister newspapers Cape Times

Co-founded in 1857 by Saul Solomon, the Cape Argus is a daily newspaper published by Sekunjalo 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]


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

The Cape Argus was founded on 3 January 1857, by the partners Saul Solomon, journalist Richard William Murray ("Limner") and the MP 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 from 1863, 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. His editor (from 1864 until 1872) Sir Thomas Ekins Fuller was replaced by Professor Roderick Noble (1872-1875) from Inverness - English & Science Professor of the South African College and previously the editor of the declining Commercial Advertiser. Professor Noble, who was also the co-editor of the well-known Cape Monthly Magazine, died suddenly in 1875, and Solomon replaced him with the radical liberal Irishman Patrick McLoughlin. While popular with the locally-elected Cape government, McLoughlin angered the British authorities with his anti-imperialist views.

Mr Francis Joseph Dormer took over as editor in 1878, 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 Dormer, in 1881 (though Solomon continued the actual printing work for him). Dormer then formed the Argus Printing and Publishing Company from it in 1886, when he acquired the remainder of Solomon's printing works and began printing himself. Edmund Powell (who had been sub-editor since Dormer took over in 1878) became editor in 1889 and remained so until 1907.

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.[5][6][7]

In August 2013, Sekunjalo purchased Independent News and Media SA from Independent News and Media. Not long after, editor Chris Whitfield took early retirement, a decision blamed on editorial interference by the new ownership.[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
April - June 2014 29 170[11]
January - March 2014 30 319[12]
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[13][14]
January – December 2012 294 000
July 2011 – June 2012 288 000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SAARF AMPS Readership and Trends for 2012
  2. ^ the Audit Bureau of Circulation
  3. ^ "Argus appoints new editor". Cape Argus/IOL. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Abarder leaves Cape Argus: the latest in an unprecedented run of editorship changes in SA" (18 April 2013)
  5. ^ "ACHIEVEMENTS: The Cape Argus is among the Most Awarded Newspapers"
  6. ^ "Cape Argus Changes its Name"
  7. ^ F. Wallis (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad, Human & Rousseau
  8. ^ "Why did Chris Whitfield jump ship?". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "Cape Argus Website". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa". ABC. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  11. ^ "Report 76.0 - 2nd Quarter Release". Audi Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "CAPE ARGUS average issue readers in Profile". Cape Argus. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "AMPS Presentations". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  14. ^ "SAARF". SAARF. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 

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