PETER BRUCE: The writing’s on the wall for Iqbal Survé
Digital news is here to stay but there needs to be more real journalistic competition back in the print market as well
For a lifelong newspaperman like myself, the prospect of the Public Investment Corp (PIC) successfully liquidating the toxic ownership structure of what I remember as the old Argus Group is exhilarating.
It isn’t Argus anymore, obviously. For years it’s been Independent Media or versions of that, bought by the Irish tycoon Tony O’Reilly in the mid-1990s and sold, when he got into financial trouble, to a curious consortium out of which Iqbal Survé emerged as top dog. The PIC lent him the money, which, fortunately, he appears not to have paid back. In fact, reading around, he appears to have become convinced that he doesn’t owe the PIC anything, that a billion rands of debt has somehow evaporated.