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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/ReCreate South Africa

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ReCreate South Africa
Our main objectives are:

Ensure that the Copyright Amendment Bill is gazetted into law Organise in 9 provinces and 10 constituencies to build a social movement for free access to knowledge. Promote public awareness of how copyright exceptions benefit the public good. Promote the broader objectives of the Wikimedia Movement including broadening participation in knowledge creation and access.

Produce a best practice guide for Wikimedia chapters engaged in copyright reform efforts.
start date2023-01-01T00:00:00Z2023-01-01
end date2023-12-31T00:00:00Z2023-11-30
budget (local currency)850000 ZAR
budget (USD)50000 USD
amount recommended (USD)50000
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionSSA
decision fiscal year2022-23
funding program roundRound 1
applicant(s)• N/A
organization (if applicable)• Black Stripe Foundation NPC

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Applicant information[edit]

A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

Black Stripe Foundation NPC

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.


G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Did not apply previously

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation, Luminate, Foundation for Human Rights
H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
Above 50,000 USD
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
National NGO, International NGO
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
Between 30 and 75%

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.


2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

Non profit organisation

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

Black Stripe Foundation exists to promote human rights and free access to knowledge in South Africa and beyond.

We founded ReCreate South Africa, a social movement uniting creators and users of copyrighted material to push for fair copyright laws based on the principles of free access to knowledge and fair use. We are pushing for the adoption of the Copyright Amendment Bill into South African law.

Black Stripe also produces The Big Debate, South Africa's top town hall TV show.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

ReCreate South Africa:

https://www.re-createza.org/ https://twitter.com/SaRecreate

The Big Debate: https://twitter.com/BigDebateSA https://www.facebook.com/BigDebateSouthAfrica https://www.youtube.com/user/BigDebateSouthAfrica

Grant proposal[edit]

6. Please state the title of your proposal.

ReCreate South Africa

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?

South Africa

10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?

We have a specific focus in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, where important branches of government are located.

We are also building our presence all 9 provinces throughout the country to educate and organise affected communities and constituencies. These include teacher unions, libraries, educational groups, disability organisations, community groups working on access to knowledge, wikimedia editors and many others.

Although our activities have a local focus in South Africa, the project is expected to have an international impact across Africa and beyond. This is because many countries are looking to South Africa for an indication on how to reform copyright legislation. Recreate works with a number of African and global networks working for progressive copyright reforms.

11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

South Africa is the most unequal society on the planet. Unequal access to knowledge and information is both a symptom and a cause of broader social inequality. ReCreate South Africa works to support a more inclusive approach to access to knowledge, educational resources, government information and so on.

More specifically we are building a social movement in support of legal reforms in South Africa and in support of free access to knowledge principles. Our target is an outdated and unjust copyright law in South Africa which limits free access to knowledge by making it harder to edit Wikipedia, add multimedia content to Wikimedia Commons, conduct research, create social commentary, create new works of art based on derivatives, access educational materials in underprivileged schools, translate materials into accessible formats such as braille and so on. Current copyright law is an obstacle to economic development and innovation. In the context of South Africa’s inequality, copyright reforms are vital to help meet the country’s educational needs.

A new Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) seeks to correct the deficiencies of the current Copyright Act of 1978. The new bill was already passed by parliament. It adds a freedom of panorama clause and a fair use clause, making it much easier to edit Wikipedia, do research, promote creativity, promote innovation and technological development. Once the new bill is passed into law it will increase access to information and educational material to millions of young learners across the country.

The challenge is to get the law enacted as vested interests against the bill have effectively stalled the process for 4 years already. We urgently need to conduct education on what copyright is, how it impacts the public and the economy, and the positive impact of an approach which prioritises free access to knowledge . This will help fight the disinformation being spread by the bill’s detractors. This grant will go towards fixing this problem by helping to better inform the public and law makers whilst strengthening the community of allies that support the bill.

Our planned activities include submitting public commentary to lawmakers, organising and educating communities, raising issues around access to knowledge in the media, engaging rights holders, commissioning legal opinions and studies, assisting allies and affiliates. Thereby strengthening the movement for positive copyright reform and expanding access to free knowledge.

We work closely with Wikimedia South Africa, which is a co-founder of ReCreate South Africa. Copyright reform in South Africa has been a priority for Wikimedia South Africa for many years. For more information on the copyright amendment bill see: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_South_Africa/Copyright_Amendment_Bill

Copyright reform is a priority for many other Wikimedia chapters around the world and we hope to contribute to the global movement.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

Our main objectives are:

Ensure that the Copyright Amendment Bill is gazetted into law Organise in 9 provinces and 10 constituencies to build a social movement for free access to knowledge. Promote public awareness of how copyright exceptions benefit the public good. Promote the broader objectives of the Wikimedia Movement including broadening participation in knowledge creation and access. Produce a best practice guide for Wikimedia chapters engaged in copyright reform efforts.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

According to our theory of change, social progress depends on the power held by the most marginalised groups in society, especially their voice in national debates.
Lawmakers in South Africa are being lobbied by vested interests (such as large multinational textbook publishers) not to pass the Copyright Amendment Act. Despite this pressure, lawmakers have continued to support copyright reforms.

We believe ReCreate South Africa has made a key contribution to the steady forward movement of the legislation. This has been achieved by our work in organising and educating communities and giving them a voice.

From a small founding group of Wikimedia editors, writers, documentary filmmakers and activists, our affiliates now include SADTU, the largest public sector teachers union in the country, BlindSA, the main group working for people with visual impairment, and SAGA, the South African guild of actors, as well as many education and health NGOs, writers, librarians, and community movements.

A unique feature of our organising model is that we have brought in creators and users of copyrighted material to support free access tro knowledge.

Our key strategies to achieve our objectives are:

(1) Educational workshops nationally and provincially to deepen understanding of copyright, copyright reforms, fair use, free access to knowledge principles and the limitations of the current system of copyright which favours commercial rights holders. In organising these workshops we will be working closely with Wikimedia South Africa, and also promoting involvement of participants as editors and users of Wikipedia. (2) A campaign in the media and on social media to raise public awareness of the value of free access to knowledge, fair use and freedom of panorama. (3) Briefings with lawmakers to ensure that they are briefed on the benefits of the current reforms and the extent of support for these reforms in communities across the country. (4) Commissioning legal opinions, where necessary, to come up with specific solutions to legal objections to the reforms.

In addition to the above strategies, we plan to document our work throughout 2023 in the form of a “Best Practices Guide”. This guide will contain highlights of our efforts to support progressive copyright reforms in South Africa and to build a broader movement for free access to knowledge in South Africa in partnership with Wikimedia. This guide will be shared with Wikimedia chapters across the world to contribute to their efforts. We will also exchange information with other Wikimedia chapters in Africa and internationally during the year and during the compilation of the guide.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?


15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Geography, Language, Socioeconomic Status, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Advocacy, Human Rights, Public Policy

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Disabilities, Linguistic / Language, Socioeconomic status, Digital Access

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

Our target participants include many of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in communities across South Africa.

ReCreate South Africa works with:

Teachers and learners in public schools in South Africas townships and rural area, who have an interest in copyright reform and access to educational resources

Community groups and social movements which are focused on access to knowledge and service delivery in South Africa’s townships and rural areas

Social movements and NGOs working for equitable access to education, health and other services, many of whom have identified free access to knowledge as a prerequisite for health and education

Blind and disabled rights groups who are focused on accessing knowledge in accessible formats, such as braille

Black Stripe Foundation also works with a very diverse group of South African civil society groups in ots other projects, including The Big Debate talk show. These groups include: LGBTIQ activists, groups working on gender equality and against gender-based violence, unemployed urban youth, housing and homeless groups, rural women's movements, refugees and migrants, shack dwellers, farmworkers, trade unions amongst others. This extensive network of civil society groups also forms part of the target group for our work on access to knowledge.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

Wikimedia South Africa is a founding member of ReCreate South Africa. Wikimedia South Africa representatives are on our steering committee. They have expressed the view that ReCreate is tackling a priority area for Wikimedia, but that it is best addressed as part of an alliance, given the broader reach and mandate of ReCreate South Africa.

ReCreate South Africa is also working closely with international networks focused on access to knowledge and copyright reform. These networks include Wikimedia chapters from a number of other countries. From our interactions with Wikimedia chapters and other free access to knowledge groups, we felt that producing a best practices guide based on our work may be helpful to other groups , including wikimedia chapters around the world.

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.

We already listed some of our key partners. A fuller list of our main affiliates and partners includes:

South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) Blind South Africa Right 2 Know Campaign Socio-Economic Rights NGOs including Section27, Treatment Action Campaign Health Justice Initiative Department of Data Science at University of Pretoria Department of Sociology at University of Johannesburg IP Unit at University of Cape Town International groups including Program on Information Justice and IP (PIJIP) at American University, Washington College of Law Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) in EU

20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).

We receive core funding from a number of donors, including Open Society Foundation, Luminate, Constitutionalism Fund (South Africa). We also receive program funding from the Program on Information Justice and IP (PIJIP) at American University, Washington College of Law.

21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

Black Stripe Foundation NPC is a non-profit company with a board of directors as required under South African law.

ReCreate South Africa is a social movement and operates as a project of Black Stripe. ReCreate has its own steering group, comprising founders, including Wikimedia South Africa and BlindSA, as well as representatives of its affiliates.

The ReCreate steering group currently meets weekly on Zoom and provides feedback to the broader ReCreate community via social media and email.

The following sit on the Black Stripe board:

Board Chair, Adv Dumisa Ntsebeza is a lawyer and a former Commissioner in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. He is a founder of the South African National Association of Democratic Lawyers and served as president of South Africa's Black Lawyers Association. Adv Ntsebeza is a member of the Judicial Service Commission and has also sat as a judge in the High Court.

Board Member, Gugu Mayisela is an entrepreneur with experience as a finance and project manager in the private sector. She left corporate finance to pursue other interests including sharing her expertise with non-profit organisations in the development sector.

Executive Director, Ben Cashdan is an economist and filmmaker with 25 years experience producing current affairs for local and global broadcasters. Previously Ben was an economic advisor in the Mandela Presidency. He developed the concept for The Big Debate, South Africa’s top town hall TV show.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

We have a very diverse team including the following:

Ben Cashdan is the Executive Director of Black Stripe and a Co-Founder of ReCreate South Africa. Ben is an economist and filmmaker and producer of The Big Debate, South Africa's top town hall debate show focused on human rights democracy and development. Previously Ben was an economic advisor in the Mandela Presidency. Ben is working on a film on access to medicines.

Douglas Scott is a board member of Wikimedia South Africa and was President of Wikimedia South Africa from 2015-2020. He was the organising chairperson for Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town. Doug is deeply involved in trying to get South African copyright law amended to include Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use against much resistance from major industry stakeholders. Doug is a criminologist by profession.

Kyla Jade is co-convenor of ReCreate South Africa. Kyla has a background in research and previously worked for South Africa History Online. She is also involved in building support for copyright reforms amongst artists and musicians.

Unathi Ndiki is a community organiser based in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Unathi has been a leader in the Right2Know social movement for over a decade. focused on government transparency and also accountability within the media. Unathi is a traditional healer with an interest in traditional knowledge as part of the access to knowledge movement.

Jack Devnarain is Chairperson of the South African Guild of Actors

Jace Nair is CEO of Blind SA.

Dr. Andrew Rens is an attorney, academic and policy advocate with a history in public interest focusing on information communication technology (ICT) and intellectual property (IP) issues. Andrew has been a Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School where he worked with Larry Lessig. From 2007 – 2010, Andrew was the first Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation where he worked on “access to knowledge, IP law reform and open education in South Africa”.

Denise Rosemary Nicholson is a specialist librarian in copyright and scholarly communication. Denise has 48 years’ working experience, including 38 years’ experience in library and information services, of which 24 years were specialist experience in copyright, open access, and scholarly communication.

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

The key lessons of this experience are how to run a successful campaign for progressive copyright reform and free access to knowledge. This will include:

Framing of arguments in public debate Organising communities and constituencies Countering fear-mongering and misinformation Building trust and solidarity Linking free access to knowledge to other human rights such as health and education

Black Stripe was established as a learning organisation and we have a number of mechanisms to ensure learning. We have internal meetings and progress reviews which seek to solicit input from all project teams members. Additionally, every 2 years we conduct a survey of over 50 civil society groups from across the country on the effectiveness of our work and seeking recommendations and input.

Core Metrics[edit]

25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants We expect to reach a large group of people in person with our community organising and outreach. In addition we expect our campaigns to reach many thousands through social media and the mainstream media. Direct participants will be 400 - 500. People reached through our campaigns will be 25,000 +

Note that we will need custom metrics given that our objective is movement building and advocacy

Number of editors N/A
Number of organizers We will have movement organisers for our advocacy work. These will be working in all 9 provinces and across many constituencies. 20
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target

25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)

We are primarily focused on movement building and advocacy, hence we wont include metrics focused on content contribution or new wikipedia editors. Instead our metrics will be focused on our impact as a social movement.

Having said that, we will be promoting wikipedia as a tool and as a philosophy and we do expect some of the participants in our events to become more involved in wikimedia as an offshoot of this project.

26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

Additional metrics relevant to this project:

Number of workshop attendees: 500+ Number of submissions to parliament: 20+ Number of people reached through the media / social media: 25,000+ Number of civil society organisation reached: 20+ Best practices report produced: 1 Legislative reform proceeding: 1 Directory of partners working on copyright reform advocacy published: 1 Wikipedia edit-a-thons: 2 Videos uploaded to Wiki commons: 4 Africa mapping exercise: 1

27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

We will use the following tools:

Attendance registers and reports Surveys and feedback forms Social media engagement reports Links to media reports

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Create a video of our experience, Make a short presentation of the experience, Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Develop learning material for other users, Share it on Meta-Wiki

Financial Proposal[edit]

29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

850000 ZAR

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

50000 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.

Core staff costs: 5 organisers @ average $750 per month x 11 months - $49 500

Local workshop costs (venue, comms, travel) : 12 workshops @ average $850 - $15 300 Legal support (2 legal opinions @ $2000) - $4 000 Publicity (social media, opeds) allow - $5 000 National events (national conference / briefings) - $2 500 Participation in international networks $4 000 Production of best practices guide $ 9 500 Overheads (offices, comms, banking) $7 500 Monitoring and evaluation $3 500

TOTAL $100 800

Requested support from WMF 50 000 (50%) Matching funding from other sources 50 800

33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

We have been managing donor funding for over 10 years, using standard accounting practices for non-profits. Our annual budget exceeds $500,000 and we have an experienced and accredited finance manager who uses certified accounting software to track all income and expenditure. Our accounts are independently audited following statutory requirements and best practice. Our board also oversees all financial policies and practices and signs off on our annual accounts. A management team ensure day to day financial good practice.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

We have a number of policies in place to ensure supportive environments in all our activities and to deal with any cases of harassment. We induct all new employees and partners in our approach, which is built on the principles of the South African constitution, i.e. human rights and dignity. To date we have not had any incidences of reported harassment or violation of our policies, but we do have procedures in place should this occur in the future. We take very seriously issues of non-discrimination, tolerance, diversity, representation and transformation given South Africa's history of discrimination.

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s): We are providing the following additional information following feedback on our strategy and impact from the Wikimedia Foundation funding review process:


Final message[edit]

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.