About Vryheid Herald

There seems to have been a newspaper in Vryheid almost since the town was established in 1884 as the capital of the New Republic. However, the local Lucas Meyer museum is poorly endowed with historical records and artifacts in this regard.

There is evidence of a fortnightly newspaper called De Nieuwe Republikein back in the 1890s, and the weekly Vryheid and District Gazette in the 1920s. Apparently, when the British occupied Vryheid during the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902, there was another newspaper, probably “sponsored” by the British command.
There is an old photograph, probably from around the 1920s/1930s, of a street scene, and a signboard on the outside of a building saying “Vryheid Herald”. This however served only as inspiration for the name of the modern Vryheid Herald, established in 1983, and there is no historical connection between the two.

For a long time, up to around 1985 when it closed, the Vryheid Gazette and District News was Vryheid’s newspaper. It was a sold newspaper. Its demise was hastened by the establishment of the Vryheid Herald in 1983 by Terry Bunge who distributed the Herald FREE to all Vryheid homes. He apparently established it in a fit of pique after an argument with the Gazette’s management.

To begin with, Terry was the managing editor/owner, but over the years there have been a number of “editors” in a fairly loose or imaginative hierarchy. And until Caxton took over the Herald in 1997, it was “spoeg en plaked” at RA Burns printers in Dundee (Rob Burns also being the owner of the Dundee Courier, and apparently having shares in the Vryheid Herald).

So, Caxton took over the Vryheid Herald in August 1997, computers, Xywrite and Pagemaker were introduced, and by the end of November that year it was being printed at the Newcastle Advertiser. The Vryheid Herald went “Sold” shortly after Caxton took over – price 40 cents.
PO Box 1840
204 Mark Street
Vryheid
3100
034 981 3930

The Team


Natasha Langenhoven
RECEPTIONIST
Emma Mtshali
GENERAL ASSISTANT
Teresa Seegers
DESIGNER
Christel Kusel
CLASSIFIED SALES
Sinethemba Thwala
JOURNALIST
Elaine Rodway
JOURNALIST
Tanya Muller
REGIONAL SALES MANAGER
George Meyer
REGIONAL MANAGER
Interesting Facts about Vryheid
  • Vryheid was founded in 1884 as the capital of the New Republic. It issued its own now very rare postage stamps.
  • The town was granted municipal status in 1912.
  • An aloe, Aloe vryheidensis, is named after Vryheid.
  • Coal mining east of Vryheid at Hlobane and Coronation became commercially viable in 1908.
  • Vryheid has an annual average rainfall of 780mm, as compared with the national average of 502mm.
  • Over 340 species of birds have been recorded in the greater Vryheid area.
  • Vryheid has its own colony of Amur falcons who spend summers in and around town, before flying each year to their breeding grounds in north-eastern Asia.
  • Vryheid’s Klipfontein Dam is recognized as being among the top fresh-water fishing dams in the country.
  • St Peter’s Anglican Church in High Street was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who also designed the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Vryheid lies in the middle of Northern KwaZulu Natal, and is a gateway, a destination and a hub. It is a gateway to the beaches, the berg, the battlefields, the game reserves, Zululand, the KZN ports of Richards Bay and Durban, Gauteng and Swaziland. As a service centre it is a destination and as a hub it is the administrative centre of the AbaQulusi Municipality.
Primarily, the Vryheid Herald is Vryheid’s community newspaper, and is distributed widely in Vryheid at about 30 retail outlets, with street sellers on the day of publication (Thursday). The paper is also sold in Paulpietersburg, Blood River/Ncome/Mondlo and Dundee. But with Vryheid being the commercial and educational centre for a huge area, readers of the Vryheid Herald may come from as far as Louwsburg, Hlobane, Coronation, Swart Umfolozi and Gluckstadt.
Total distribution: 4 700 - Delivered on Thursdays
 
Top