Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Growing in the shadows of the once formidable Independent Media is an opaque company, seemingly controlled by Iqbal Survé, that claims it is defying the generally accepted narrative of a struggling media industry. This company, African Media Development (AMD), has swooped out of nowhere to buy Independent Media’s profitable community newspaper division, and is also thought to have become the recent proud owner of other “business units” that were formerly part of the media company. In early February, staff of the community newspapers were told at a meeting that the division had been sold to a company with a “long history” in media — AMD. Apart from Sandy Naudé, previously head of Independent’s Cape division and now set to head the new entity, and group executive Howard Plaatjes, none of the staff at the meeting knew anything about the media company with the “long history”. No detail was provided about the price paid for the only newspaper division within Independent Media making any ...

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