Home News DFA 145 years: Message from the Editor

DFA 145 years: Message from the Editor

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Since we celebrated our 140th birthday five years ago we have faced and overcome many challenges.

Seen here are the staff of the DFA at the time of the newspaper’s relocation to the North Cape Mall. Editor of the DFA, Johan du Plessis paid tribute to the staff who carried the newspaper through tough times, including Covid-19, the move to a weekly edition and relocating to its new offices.

SINCE we celebrated our 140th birthday five years ago we have faced and overcome many challenges. We also made some fundamental changes in how we operate to ensure that your newspaper survives, while others disappeared.

We survived Covid-19 and although we had to stop publishing a print edition due to lockdown restrictions, we kept the people of Kimberley and the Northern Cape informed via our digital platforms. The DFA’s website, www.dfa.co.za, continues to be a huge success story.

However, when the masks came off and we were allowed back onto the streets, the world, and Kimberley, had changed. And we needed to change as well.

While many newspapers across the country disappeared, we survived, going from a daily newspaper to a weekly newspaper. We managed to keep our heads above water, however, with the economy still in recovery mode we needed another bold plan. We decided to go free.

We removed the cover price, upped the print order to 40 000 copies and started bringing real community news to the people. This has proved to be a huge success.

However, we still recognised the need for hard news, breaking news and up-to-the-minute updates. For this we turned to our digital platforms, using Facebook (@DFANEWSPAPER) to direct people to our website (www.dfa.co.za) where the reader could find the latest news, as it happens.

In another bold move, the DFA relocated to its new offices at the North Cape Mall.

The home of the DFA for the past 36 years, on the corner of Bean and Villiers streets in Kimberley’s CBD, was sold, allowing for the property to be developed for the greater good of the city and its people.

Since the relocation of the printing press to Johannesburg in 1999 the building has been totally underutilised and the option to sell it has been in the pipeline for several years.

The DFA has had several “homes” in Kimberley.

In 1878, when it was established, the DFA could be found on the corner of Stockdale and Du Toitspan Road. Just a year later it moved to the corner of Chapel and Du Toitspan and in 1901 it relocated to the corner of Stockdale and Market.

Nearly 50 years later, in 1949, it again moved, this time to the corner of Chapel and Currey streets. The corner of Permanent Way and Woodley Street became its home in 1961 before the newspaper relocated to Northern Cape Printers, on the corner of Bean and Villiers streets, in 1985.

We have faced many challenges over the past 145 years. The Great Spanish Flu, the Anglo-Boer War, two world wars, fighting apartheid and the demise of great diamond companies, to mention only a few.

And then came Covid . . . but we survived. This is due to several factors, including ‘thinking out of the box’, adapting to a changing world and remaining committed to the people of Kimberley and the Northern Cape.

However, no message will be complete without thanking the people behind it all. To all the staff of the DFA, thank you for your commitment and dedication in really tough times. We survived and will continue to do so.

And to the senior management of our company, Africa Community Media, to Sandy Naude, our CEO, and Rene Williams who oversees our commercial team . . . thank you for all your support.

Last but definitely not least . . . thank you to all our print readers, online users and advertisers for your loyal support. Your support allows us to do what we do well and that is to keep the people of our Province informed.

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