The newspaper industry in Tzaneen: The history of the newspaper industry in Tzaneen took as many interesting turns as the town and the region itself.

Tzaneen has had its own newspaper since 15 January 1959. The Impala was started by Ronnie van der Berg in a time where Tzaneen was probably one of the smallest towns in the country to have its own newspaper. The Impala was sold to Theo Senekal in 1968 under whose leadership the newspaper grew from strength to strength until he decided to discontinue publishing the newspaper in 1974.

In the same year, the Lowvelder group from Nelspruit, under the leadership of Jan Cilliers, decided to start a new newspaper in Tzaneen. During September of that year the first issue of the Letaba Lowvelder was published.

The newspaper’s first editor was Eugene Kruger, who later became editor of several well-known specialty-magazines. He was succeeded by Tienie Fourie, who later became head-subeditor for Beeld.

In 1974 the current manager for the Letaba Herald group, Lukas Groenewald, made his first appearance in Tzaneen after being promoted from sport editor for the Lowvelder in Nelspruit to news editor for the Letaba Lowvelder in Tzaneen. He took the reigns from Hennie Egen who joined the team at Pretoria News.

During 1976 Senekal felt drawn back to the newspaper world, prompting him to take over the struggling Zeederberg and revive it. Tzaneen thus had two newspapers, albeit only for a short period.

In September 1977 Senekal appointed Archie van Reenen as editor. Out of his pen flowed not only numerous articles and reports, but also a weekly commentary on local, national and international news. In June 1978 Senekal decided to sell the business and the Zeederberg was shut down.

Continue reading about Letaba Herald.

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