The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser, a bilingual newspaper and the first to publish news and advertisements, is published for the first time.


Cape Town Gazette, 1802Cape Town Gazette, 1802. Source::

Saturday, 16 August 1800

The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser was the first newspaper to be published in Africa. It was started by two slave dealers, Alexander Walker and John Robertson. In its early stages, the newspaper was simply used by the government as a mouth-piece. It was only in 1829, after the owners had been involved in a very a long struggle with the government, and the Colony granted freedom of the press, that the newspaper became free from government censorship. This led to a significant growth in the newspaper industry as more newspapers emerged.

The newspaper was published in both English and Dutch, and changed its name to Dutch Kaapsche Courant in 1803. This could have been influenced by the change in the political scene in the colony at the time. The Dutch had just taken the Colony from the British in 1802. The British reoccupied the Colony in 1806. The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser is regarded as the paper that paved the way for the newspapers that Africa boasts today.

• Wallis, F., 2000. Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau; Swart: Afrikaanse Kultuuralmanak
•  Simon J., (2010.) “World Newspaper Archive ”“ African Newspapers” from Focus On Global Resources, Vol. 29, Num. 4. Available at [Accessed 12 July 2011]

Last updated : 14-Aug-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 11-Aug-2011

Support South African History Online

Dear friends of SAHO

South African History Online (SAHO) needs your support.

SAHO is one of the most visited websites in South Africa with over 6 million unique users a year. Our goal is to fulfill our mandate and continue to build, and make accessible, a new people’s history of South Africa and Africa.

Please help us deliver this by contributing upwards of $1.00 a month for the next 12 months.

Make a donation here and send us a message of support.