Financial problems have caused South Africa’s national wire service, SAPA, to declare it’s closing its doors at the end of March.
Withdrawal of major media outlets from the non-profit organisation has made it unviable.
The South African Press Association was formed in 1938 as a co-operative between the then four major newspaper groups and the state broadcaster.
It shared breaking news nationally and acted as the conduit for distributing international wire services, like Agence France Press, to South African clients.
For decades, founder members complained that they were paying the lion’s share to provide news to media outlets springing up in competition with them.
The closure leaves 40 journalists across the country out of work.
They have been active on social media saying the decision has left them high and dry.
As a non-profit organisation, SAPA cannot be sold off. An independent firm of auditors and financial advisors has been appointed to assist in selling off its assets and winding up the operation.
The National Press Club in Pretoria says this development is a sad day for the South African media.
The club’s chairman Jos Charle says SAPA provides an unparalleled service reaching the vast corners of South Africa where the rest of the media falls short.