De Kock says that The Herald is committed to its 'watchdog role'. "It is an absolute privilege to be leading this newspaper that has such a rich history. Yes, the road has been bumpy but we remain committed to continue delivering quality journalism that is impactful and ultimately brings about change," says de Kock.

"We aim to ensure that we fulfil our duties as a vigilant watchdog to keep our readers informed about the very issues that affect us all. We would like to thank our readers for their continued support; we would not have reached 175 years without you," adds de Kock.

Tshepo Mahloele, chair of Arena Holdings, which is the owner of The Herald, says that he knew from his days as a student at Rhodes University of the pivotal role that the small but feisty newspaper played in the communities of Nelson Mandela Bay and the region.

"Today, you cannot talk about Nelson Mandela Bay, its people and their struggles, their dreams and achievements, their failures and successes and not talk about The Herald," Mahloele says.

"This is because for 175 years, The Herald has had a front-row seat in documenting the history of this community," he adds. 

Mahloele says that The Herald has fought for "the most vulnerable, exposing corruption and holding power to account, and in equal measure had celebrated the exploits of local heroes".

The Herald started as the Eastern Province Herald and was founded by the Scot John Paterson who arrived in Port Elizabeth in 1842, who at the age of 19, took up a teaching post in Uitenhage.

While still teaching, Paterson decided to start a newspaper in a joint venture with his friend John Philip, who would be the printer. They first published the Eastern Province Herald at premises in Titterton Lane off what was then Main Street (today Govan Mbeki Avenue).

The price was one penny and the date of that first edition was Wednesday, 7 May 1845, making The Herald the country's oldest existing daily newspaper.

Paterson used the Eastern Province Herald to write editorials to try to convince residents of the need for civic responsibility. He 'blasted' readers about the necessity for new roads, an agricultural society, a better post office, a town census, street names, improved harbour conditions and a library.

In 1848, urged on by Paterson, work began on the Cape Recife lighthouse and a prison board was elected. A meeting of leading merchants was held in March 1849 to discuss the establishment of a chamber of commerce.

In 1952, staff moved into the new five-story building erected at 19 Baakens Street, and Newspaper House was the centre of operations for the next 63 years, until the big move to the present offices at the Atrium, in Greenacres, in 2019.

It was 92 years from the day it was launched before the EP Herald started publishing news on its front page. At that time, the printed word was the only reliable source of information. There wasn't even radio, let alone television or the Internet.

On Tuesday, 4 January 1938, with World War 2 looming, page one became the main news page. 

In June 2019, Tiso Blackstar Group, publisher of The Herald, Business Day, Sunday Times and other titles, sold its print, broadcasting and content businesses in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya to the Lebashe Investment Group.

And in November 2019, Mahloele unveiled the new company, Arena Holdings, that would house the acquired media assets.

Over the decades, The Herald has aimed to cover the events and issues that have shaped Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, the Eastern Cape, South Africa and the world — shining a light on:
  • politics
  • business
  • service delivery
  • sport
  • motoring
  • the environment
  • science
  • tourism
  • agriculture, and
  • lifestyle.
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