Brakpan Herald Celebrating 90 Years

Delivering news every Friday without fail

On Friday, January 14, 1927, the first issue of the Herald made its appearance on the streets and in postboxes throughout the town of Brakpan.

The Herald’s appearance was a triumph of endeavour on the part of the founder, Edward Wallace, and his staff, who worked many long nights beforehand laboriously handsetting the type and rolling the pages off an antiquated machine.

The first edition, with a circulation of

2 000, was delivered by post.

The paper started as an eight-page 10 by 12 inch (25 by 30cm) sheet.

It was produced by a staff of four in a small works situated in Modder Road (now Voortrekker Road), where the Standard Bank stands today.

The Herald was not without opposition – William Hills, founder of the Benoni City Times – published a weekly titled Golden East News.

This did not deter Wallace, however, and from that first Friday the Herald never missed a single publication day.

The Golden East News eventually ceased publication and, appropriately enough, the Herald moved into the offices and premises previously occupied by the defunct opposition.

The office was situated at the corner of Bedford Street and Queen Avenue, where the Park Hotel stands today.

After being there for some time, an Intertype machine was bought.

This enabled automatic setting, which greatly speeded production and made for increased efficiency all round.


As a result, on May 23, 1929, the size of the paper was increased to sheets of 19 by 12 inches (48 by 30cm) with five columns to the page.

The number of pages, however, remained at eight.

In 1934, the Herald moved again, this time to the corner of Bedford Street and Kingsway Avenue.

The 19 by 12 inch paper remained for 21 years, until September 1950, when it was further enlarged to carry an additional column.

Advertising on the entire front page – almost a tradition with the Herald – was scrapped forever and news was classified into categories of sport, women’s features, events, general and so on.

The whole paper was brightened with the use of attractive headlining and layout.

The years that followed saw a change in the paper’s ownership, from Reliance Press to Amalgamated Press, and to current owners Caxton.

The town and the paper have grown side by side, through the rich years of mining, the lean years and periods of change.

The town and the paper have grown side by side, through the rich years of mining, the lean years and periods of change.

The publication branched into the digital world in 2010 and has a strong online presence, as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


There have also been a few more moves and the Herald settled into new offices along Van der Walt Road, in Dalview, last year.

2016 also saw the paper undergo a redesign – a change that resulted in the paper winning the Best Free Newspaper category at the Caxton Excellence Awards.

The improved design, which is fresh and modern, was specifically created with readers in mind and better tailored to today’s high-tech age.


From an editorial perspective, the redesigned paper retained many of the classic aspects that made it popular in the community, but new elements were created.

Today, the Herald is designed on Adobe InDesign and is printed at CTP in Industria, Johannesburg, with 19 700 copies distributed every Friday.

For those who can’t wait for the Herald to be delivered on a Friday or who want to read it on the go, visit to read it online.

Throughout all the years and many changes, one thing has remained – the Herald has adhered to the original trends and policies laid down by its founder, who in the first edition 90 years ago, wrote:

“It will be our duty to comment upon public matters of local or national interest. In doing this we aim at fair play and justice all round.”

Edward Wallace was the founder and first editor of the Brakpan Herald.

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