WM ZA/Activity Report 2019

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This report outlines and summarises the activities that Wikimedia South Africa has conducted from July 2018 to December 2019.

See also: Wikimedia ZA WMF 2018 grant
See also: Wikimedia ZA WMF 2019 grant

Second half of 2018[edit]

A more detailed and full account of Wikimedia ZA activities for 2018 can be found in the Wikimedia ZA grant report for 2018.

Afrikaans Writing competition[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Dumbassman

The Afrikaans writing competition was held from the 15th December 2018 to the 15th January 2019. Its goal was to increase the number of Afrikaans editors whilst expanding Afrikaans language Wikipedia by encouraging the creation of new articles. This supported Wikimedia ZA's outreach and South African language support goals. It did not succeed at its first goal of increasing the number of Afrikaans editors but it did succeed in creating 255 new articles with an additional 1,840 articles edited and improved.

Moleskine primary education outreach[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: bobbyshabangu

Organised by the Moleskin Foundation to promote primary education in South Africa and with the support of Wikimedia South Africa an event was held in Johannesburg. The event involved school children learning about and editing Wikipedia. Wikimedia ZA volunteer editors taught teachers and students how to edit Wikipedia and gave information on the pressing need for more indigenous South African language editors to edit local language Wikipedias in South Africa. This was seen by the chapter as an important basic education outreach activity that also had positive although relatively small content impacts on Wikipedia. This event did not incur any financial costs to the chapter.

Wiki Data Birthday workshop[edit]

WMZA Event organisers: Michaelgraaf, YaguraStation, Discott

Hosted on the 27th October 2018 Wikimedia ZA, in celebration of Wiki Data's 6th birthday, organised a workshop to showcase WikiData tools to the local Wikimedia community in Cape Town. The event was live broadcast to participants in Johannesburg so they could also participate. Our event partner was Code for Africa who provided a venue and helped inform the wider technology and open data community in South Africa about the event.

WikiDesign outreach[edit]

WMZA Event organisers: Discott, YaguraStation,A3 Baard

On the 11 April 2018 Wikimedia ZA ran an outreach event with Interactive Africa as part of the Chapter's outreach activities and in preparation for Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town. The outreach event was intended to encourage more members of the design community to edit Wikipedia. Since the April 2018 workshop the event has evolved into a broader content creation activity with the South African design community to create and improve design related articles on Wikipedia to be conducted in 2019. This includes a Commons upload-a-thon to get content onto Commons by content owners (authors) and an editing drive by veteran editors to work with content experts to create and improve relevant Wikipedia articles.

Copyright outreach[edit]

Discott (WMZA) [left] and Econterms (WMDC) [right] attending the edit-a-thon at the 5th Global Congress that allowed the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property to meet Wikimedia DC.
WMZA Event organiser: Discott

The latter half of 2018 was very busy for the chapter volunteer involved (Discott) in advocacy efforts around copyright. A bill amending the South African Copyright Act was that included both Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use was presented to and passed by the lower House of Parliament. The bill now needs to be passe by the Council of Provinces before it can be signed into law by the president. This is expected to happen in 2019. Although no Wikimedia Foundation funds were used in this activity it is an important chapter activity that needs to be highlighted.

Additional copyright related events happening in the latter half of 2018 was the mapping of global copyright user rights for educational purposes conducted at the 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest that lead to a number of positive outcomes (25-30 September 2018). Ranging from the creation of a matrix detailing copyright user rights to information sharing with copyright legal and advocacy specialists,to the introducing of the Proposed Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For Educational And Research Activities to the WMF, to the introduction of the Program for Information Justice and Intellectual Property with Wikimedia DC. If Wikimedia South Africa had not attended this event then this introduction would not have been made.

On the 14-17 December 2018 Wikimedia representative Discott attended the Re:publica Accra technology conference to present on Freedom of Panorama in Africa. The event also allowed Wikimedia ZA to strengthen ties with Wikimedia Ghana and share knowledge on copyright related issues. This trip kick started a drive in Ghana to reform the country's copyright law regarding a lack of Freedom of Panorama provisions. A lack of Freedom of Panorama has a negative impact on the submission of photographs of public works & buildings on platforms such as Wikimedia Commons.

Other activities in late 2018[edit]

Other activities conducted by Wikimedia ZA using 2018 grant funding were:

The Annual General Meeting is an important and legally required part of the chapter's core operations. Chapter members are updated on chapter acitivies, board members are elected, goals are set, chapter accountability is maintained, and important policy decisions are taken during this event.

An activity which has not used any budget yet, but which has been budgeted for, is the smart set-top box project in collaboration with Cape Town TV. Wikimedia-ZA has sponsored a future hackathon to pioneer over-the-air updates of offline African language Wikipedias in the boxes, but the server side of things has turned out to be more technically challenging than anticipated. The project continues. Team members: Michaelgraaf, YaguraStation, Dagelf.


A poster, displayed at Wikimania 2019, summarizing activities conducted by Wikimedia South Africa in the first eight months of 2019 leading up to Wikimania.

Wikipedia Meetups[edit]

As part of Wikimedia ZA's community support the chapter has organised a number of Wikipedia meetups. A total of eleven Wikipedia meetups have been hosted in Cape Town and in Johannesburg during 2019 with the intention of making them a monthly event.

Wikipedia Design support[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Discott

WMZA hosted two design support related events as part of our design related outreach. One was the Emerging creatives Design Indaba 2019 presentation on the 25th February 2019 as part of Design Indaba 2019. The second was a small workshop at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town on the D Drinks Wikipedia Workshop on the 2nd November 2019.

UCT History workshop[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Discott

On February 23 Wikimedia ZA hosted a day long workshop at the University of Cape Town to train History post-graduate students how to edit Wikipedia. Followup workshops at the university will be held. So far the seventeen participants in the program have created 184 articles, edited 925 existing articles, and added 673 references on English language Wikipedia.

Wiki Loves Africa in South Africa[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: A3 Baard

Wikimedia ZA hosted the South African component of Wiki Loves Africa. The photographic competition encouraging people to submit photographs for use on Wikipedia on African related subjects received 435 submissions this year.

School Librarians Conference[edit]

SA School Librarians Conference 2019
WMZA Event organisers: A3 Baard, Dagelf, Oesjaar

Wikimedia ZA gave a number of presentations on to South African librarians at the South African School Librarians' Conference on July 1 at Rhodes University in Makhanda (Grahamstown) so as to inform and encourage greater participation in the free knowledge movement. Additional presentations were given across the town to a number of other educational organisations.

Wikimania 2019 scholarships[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: bobbyshabangu

Wikimedia ZA granted two scholarships for people from SADC to attend Wikimania 2019. Two people, one South African and one Zambian, attended the conference in Sweden on this scholarship with funding provided from the Wikimedia Foundation.

2030 Strategy Salons[edit]

2030 Wikimedia Youth Salon Movement Strategy at Wits University in Johannesburg
WMZA Event organisers: A3 Baard and bobbyshabangu

As part of Wikimedia ZA's engagment with the Wikimedia Foundation's 2030 strategy process we have run a number of strategy salon's in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The focus has been to get feedback and local insight for the 2030 strategy design process on the topics of Diversity and Capacity Building. A report of these Strategy workshops can be found here.

Climate Change workshop[edit]

A video produced by The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) about the Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change held in Cape Town in August 2019.
WMZA Event volunteers: Discott, Michaelgraaf, YaguraStation

From August 6-8 Wikimedia ZA in partnership with climate change NGO South South North hosted the first African Climate Change workshop. The event involved climate change scientists from across Africa being introduced and trained to edit Wikipedia so as to improve the number and quality of climate change related articles on Wikipedia, with particular a focus on African subjects. Over 240 edits on 54 article pages were made in the 3 days of the event by 40 first time editors. An African Climate Change task-force was created on English Wikipedia to continue this work by participants in the future.

UNDP Wikipedian in Residence[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Discott

Between August and December 2019 Wikimedia ZA has been working with John Cummings (Wikipedian in Residence at UNESCO) to recruite a Wikipedian in residence for the United Nations Development Program in South Africa. The recruiting process is in its final stages now and the successfull candiate will be announced soon. The chapter has committed to providings support to better integrate and train the successful candiate.

Copyright Advocacy[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Discott

Our copyright advocacy continues with calls to the president of South Africa to sign the Copyright Amendment Bill into law. As part of our efforts Discott attended the Wikimedia Workshop on Public Policy in Madrid, Spain on the 6 & 7 June 2019.

Discott also helped host the advocacy space at Wikimania 2019 and hosted two workshops on Practical aspects of legislative advocacy and What we are advocating for and why.

Arts on our minds[edit]

We partnered with Arts On Our Minds who are based at Wits University where we organised and ran different events which include 3 edit-a-thons, oral history workshop, Wikimedia movement strategy 2030 as well as participating in the Arts Feminism conference where Bobbyshabangu and Islahaddow were panelists who spoke about Wikimedia and its projects as well as how participants can get involved. You can read more on this link about this partnership and the events thereof.

Whose Knowledge[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Bobbyshabangu and Stefanie Kastner from Goethe Institut, Johannesburg

Building from the discussions that took place at the Decolonizing the Internet conference organised by Whose Knowledge in Cape town in 2018, we've continued and partnered with the Goethe Institut in Johannesburg to organise meet-ups and professional meetings where we spoke about the knowledge of marginalized communities who are mostly from Global South on the internet and how best can the Goethe Institut support WMZA's efforts and the community. Some of these conversations can be found in this link.

AfroCuration project[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Bobbyshabangu

We've partnered with three non-profit organisations focused on education to organise a teacher trainer workshop where we've had 96 participants who were University students, Constitutional lawyers and judges, High school teachers and students whom we've taught how to edit on Wikipedia for a day. These organisations comprised of Moleskin Foundation, the Constitutional hill trust and Bridge Foundation and the aim is to introduce Wikipedia in the classroom and to create awareness about Wikipedia and its sister projects. See link to dashboard of activities that happened that day and after.

City of Johannesburg Public Library Edit-a-thon[edit]

WMZA Event organiser: Bobbyshabangu

We've partnered with the Johannesburg city library and organized an edit-a-thon where we raised awereness about Wikimedia and taught book club members how to edit on Wikipedia. Activity report can be found on the link here.

Financial report: July 2018-June 2019[edit]

The Wikimedia ZA financial report for July 2018 to June 2019.

Accompanying this document is the Wikimedia ZA financial report for 2019 which can be accessed on commons here. Since our current grant has moved to the July to June financial year which coincides with the South African chapter's financial year, the 2019 financial year will cover the period July 2018 to June 2019.