Newly launched community publications in Soweto were beginning to show
profit, pushed up mainly by a rise in urban retail, said the Newspaper
Advertising Bureau (NAB), a division of Caxton newspapers, writes Thom McLachlan in Business Day.

“At the end of March we saw a notable incline in national advertising sales throughout our 10 Soweto offerings,” said NAB joint MD Gill Randall.

National advertising sales rose a huge 70% this year, which was the most dramatic increase in advertising support in Caxton community newspaper history, said Randall.

Caxton is the biggest publisher of community newspapers in the country.

AIS Nielsen research shows that adspend on inserts — which are largely linked to national retail outlets and chain stores — increased substantially over the past year in two of Caxton’s largest publications in the area.

In March this year, adspend in Diepkloof Urban News increased to R350000 from R45000 in 2005, while the company’s trophy publication in the area, the Protea News, went from R85000 to R370000.

National retailers have rushed into the area to take up their positions in the newly created shopping space in the township. It has been estimated that the market is now worth R4bn in overall spending power.

“Soweto is an interesting place for us. People think it is one globular area, but in fact it is made of very different income groups, with cultural and language differences,” said John Bowles, who heads marketing for NAB.

Shopping malls have been springing up across Soweto, with more planned for the near future.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.