2022. A year that put South Africa’s beauty and brittleness on full display. From political turmoil to natural disasters, we covered it all. We broke the story on the biggest crime busts and business deals, crunched the numbers as living costs increased, followed tip-offs and paper trails, and fought against intimidation.
We prioritised wellness, went adventuring on the road, bagged celeb scoops, and zoomed into our changing climate. We gave our content sections a big makeover, welcomed crowds to our first major event, and levelled up our subscription offering.
South Africans watched, heard and read the stories that shaped the year on News24.com.
With each click, we kept the country connected to the news.
As South Africans breathe a collective sigh of relief – ready to put this year behind us – let's reflect on some of the most impactful stories we covered.
2022: roll the credits.
This year would not have been possible without the support of our subscribers. They have enabled us to dig deeper, unearth the truth, and produce some of the best journalism in South Africa. If you'd like to join the cause and help us hold power to account daily, join our 70 000-strong team of News24 subscribers.
The story of the year:
When hired hitmen took out corruption whistleblower Babita Deokaran, they thought they could bury what she knew, but News24’s investigative team made it their mission to find out why she was killed.
Her murder put the protection of whistleblowers back in the South African public discourse and led News24 to expose the hospital tender mafia targeting provincial facilities, particularly Tembisa Hospital.
It’s clear from the December raids at Tembisa Hospital and a preliminary probe by the SIU that the crooks who ordered the hit on Deokaran couldn’t stop her from speaking out.
News24 will not stay silent either.
The stories that shaped 2022
There was no shortage of stories to report this year; national victories united us in moments of collective pride and heartbreaking tragedies filled us with sorrow.
Many KwaZulu-Natal residents are still struggling in the aftermath of the devastating floods that ravaged parts of the province in April, while most SA households continue to endure the crushing impact of the Eskom crisis.
And during dark days, the Zondo Commission report and the state capture arrests brought a glimmer of hope that the country could recover from decay and corruption, and see the criminal justice system restored. But big scandals like Phala Phala and the Steinhoff are putting our laws and patience to the test.
In between the waves of pride and pessimism, South Africans were forced to take a sobering look at the effectiveness of booze regulations and gun laws following a series of deadly tavern incidents in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
It was also a momentous year on the global stage, from the death of the world’s longest-living monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, to the Russia-Ukraine war; an issue on which South Africa remains a fence sitter. But while SA’s diplomatic stance can be questionably ambiguous at times, our patriotism is undeniable when it comes to our sporting heroes, Banyana Banyana, who flew the flag high for us this year.
Adriaan Basson, Editor-in-chief
Eskom at war
Eskom has always been an entity that was too big to fail. But in 2022 it began to look like it is too ruined to save.
Carol Paton, News24 Business writer-at-large
News24's journalists went into the heart of the disaster-stricken province to speak to the people who lost everything, and those who were rescuing and rebuilding after the storm.
Sharlene Rood, News24 Multimedia Editor
State capture arrests
The arrests are significant wins for the NPA and show that the rebuilding of the prosecuting authority, after years of methodical dissection by Zuma and his allies, is working.
Sheldon Morais, Assistant editor for breaking news
The celebrations that accompanied Banyana Banyana's triumphant return from the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations in July told their own story of exactly how important this moment was. But this was about far more than just football.
Lloyd Burnard, News24 Sport Editor
Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste started 2022 having been charged with accounting fraud in Germany, but otherwise mostly free from entanglements with the law. He ended the year in a very different position.
Jan Cronje, News24 Business journalist
The very first questions News24 investigative reporters asked when former spy boss Arthur Fraser exploded his Phala Phala bombshell remain central to getting to the bottom of the matter. This is how we investigated it.
Pieter du Toit, Assistant editor for investigations
Taverns across South Africa saw a wave of seemingly unexplainable violence in 2022, which was coupled with the tragic death of 21 teenagers at an overcrowded tavern in Enyobeni in East London.
Sheldon Morais, Assistant editor for breaking news
The Queen dies
On par with international coverage and unmatched locally, the team delivered premium quality content that broke readership numbers and set new pageview records. Having followed the queen's work closely over the years, the team's dutiful final farewell to the monarch was handled with unwavering professionalism and grace until the very end.
Herman Eloff, News24 Life editor
The war in Ukraine
On 24 February 2022, war returned to Europe when President Vladimir Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine, leaving at least 200 000 people dead and millions displaced. In South Africa, the ANC refused to condemn Russia or participate in multilateral condemnations of the invasion.
Adriaan Basson, Editor-in-chief
And that's not all.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep our audience absorbed, 2022 was also the year that Covid-19 regulations fell, Parliament caught fire, and rogue agents were unmasked in a News24 investigation shining the light on the shadowy world of the State Security Agency.
The rocky road to Nasrec deepened divisions in the ANC, while police and state failures were laid bare by the horrific Krugerdorp gang rapes and the NPA’s inability to prosecute a suspected serial paedophile.
The Business End
This year, businesses and consumers stumbled out of the fog of Covid-19 lockdowns, anticipating a brighter outlook. Instead, we got a war on the other side of the world that roiled markets and supply chains – sending the country into a gloomy year with a deepening cost of living crisis. On top of that, there were volatile state-owned entities, faltering airlines and AK47-wielding construction mafiosos attempting to sell themselves as a legitimate business. One of the few bright sparks among the Eskom-imposed darkness this year was movement in terms of funding for SA’s energy transition at the COP27 conference.
Oh, what a Life!
2022 saw News24's lifestyle section rebrand as News24 Life. All the external brands (Channel24, Health24, Parent24, W24, Ride24, Arts24, and Wheels24) moved in under the News24 umbrella to strengthen the brand's lifestyle offering. News24 Life focuses on three critical areas of living a balanced life - culture, wellness, and escapism. This section covers various topics like the arts, entertainment, books, relationships, wellness, motoring, cycling, food, travel, and wine.
SA sport’s never-ending rollercoaster
There was so much for South African sport to celebrate this year. The Stormers won the inaugural United Rugby Championship, Banyana Banyana shocked the world, Lara van Niekerk emerged as the new darling of SA swimming, and Ashleigh Buhai made history. Yet, off the field, there were the familiar South African issues. From Cricket SA’s crisis to the uncertainty surrounding SA Rugby boss Jurie Roux to Rassie Erasmus v World Rugby Round II; 2022 was not short of off-field drama.
We've produced a wide range of special projects this year that elevate our journalism even further. From our data-intensive work on Crime Check, to our deep dive into life after the July Unrest, News24 created an array of multimedia-rich experiences for our readers.
The sound of 2022: Our top podcasts this year
From our subscribers
“We are very grateful to the News24 team - Hope your hard brilliant work is recognised.” - AuntyE
“This is good journalism: stating the data, influencing the public discourse, and holding accountable at the top, where accountability should be, and is lacking.”
“This Ms Paton certainly knows her stuff. Heck, comparing her to so many, many other so-called Political Analysts is like David vs. Goliath.” - CoenG
“Well done to all the hard-core journalists who are bringing these facts to the fore. Without you guys, little evidence would ever have been disclosed.”
“As subscribers, we are proud of all your journalists.” - WDJR
“Journalism at its very best. Please continue to expose so much more. We are looking forward to more articles.”
To our subscribers: From the team at News24, thank you. All of our work in 2022 was possible because of you. We've fought for fallen whistleblowers, and we've seen the wheel begin to turn on state capture suspects. We've covered fires, floods, royals and rugby. Through it all, we have never faltered in our core pursuit: facts above all. The work doesn't stop, and we'll see you in 2023 for even more.