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WM ZA/Annual Report 2021-22

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This report outlines and summarises the activities that Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) has conducted from July 2021 to June 2022. This period covers the 2021/22 simple annual grant period awarded to WMZA by the Wikimedia Foundation. The year 2021 and 2022 was a year of recovery for the chapter following the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting nation wide that paralyzed most chapter activities in the previous financial year. It is also the first full year that we had an employee since 2014/15. This period of recovery and training allowed us to do more than in the previous year whilst also building a foundation for the future. In this period projects run by Wikimedia South Africa helped create 2,970 new articles on Wikipedia with an additional 7,860 pages edited in both English and Afrikaans language Wikipedias. An estimated total of 460 hours of unpaid volunteer hours were donated to the chapter by its volunteer members over the course of the 2021/22 year; this number does not include time editing the Wikis or community meetups. It must be noted that this total is a very conservative minimal estimate of the number of volunteer hours as the true number is likely closer to 1,000 hours donated.

See also: Wikimedia ZA WMF 2021 grant
Number of unpaid volunteer hours donated to the chapter
Activity Events Total
Chapter administration Board, operational, AGM meetings & Grant applications 268
Campaigns Editathons & Workshops 108
Copyright advocacy ongoing & multiple 84
Total hours donated to chapter 460

Midpoint report


This section covers the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021. This is the first half of the 2021/22 grant period.



The following projects were done under the rubric of outreach.

Wiki Loves Science

Submission to Wiki Loves Science 2021: Crystal melt of sulphur and urea
WMZA point person: Discott
see also: w:Wikipedia:Wiki_Science_Competition_2021_in_South_Africa

The start of the Wiki Loves Science event began in the last month of the first half of the 2021/22 period. This was the first time that this event has taken place in South Africa. The competition ran from December 2021 to the end of January 2022. A total of 82 images were submitted. The chapter plans to host the event again in 2022/23 and expects participation and the number of submissions to increase as the competition becomes better known, more partners become involved in the event, and the chapter becomes more experienced in hosting this event. The event will conclude at the end of February 2022.

Afrocuration assistance

WMZA Event volunteers: Bobbyshabangu

Wikimedia South Africa assisted the Moleskin Foundation with the 2021 Afrocuration South Africa event at Constitution Hill. The event was organized and led by, a founding member of @wikimediaigbo and also a Wikipedian in Residence at Moleskine Foundation working on the WikiAfrica Education project Tochi Precious. The South African program partnered with Constitution Hill and Harambee and it was held on the 26th and 27th of October. The project was aimed at training new editors to edit South African languages on Wikipedia, and also mentor them to become part of our user group and also knowledge contributors in the South African language on Wiki. By February 2022 this project had produced 24 Wikipedia articles, 60 articles edited, with 55 people participating adding 101K bytes of information and resulting in 46 500 article views (dashboard).

Community Support


The following projects and activities were done under the strategic rubric of community support.

Afrikaans Birthday party

WMZA point person: Oesjaar

Afrikaans Wikipedia celebrated its 20th birthday on the 16th of November 2021. To mark the occasion Wikimedia South Africa will hosted a celebration for the Afrikaans Wikipedia editing community. The event included discussions on the growth of the Wiki over the years, challenges the Wiki faces, and possible solutions to continue the growth of the Wiki and its community. The event coincided with the publication of the 101,000th article on Afrikaans Wikipedia.

The event was organised by Deon Steyn from Board member of Wikimedia South Africa and in partnership with the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in Pretoria. Only about 20 people were invited to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Community meetups

A screen shot from the 12th South African Wikipedia meetup hosted by WMZA.

Wikimedia South Africa hosts regular community meetups so as to strengthen the community health of the South African Wiki community. Since 2020 these meetups have become predominantly online events. This allows for greater COVID-19 safety as well as being more geographically democratic by allowing people from across the county, and world, to attend the events equally. The chapter still hopes to be able to start regular meetups some in the future as we note that the digital ones, despite their benefits, have significant draw backs as well. In other words, people would rather meet other people and socialise in person.

Between July and December 2021 Wikimedia South Africa hosted the following online meetups:

#WikipediaByUs Campaign


In order to reach out to unique target audiences, Wikimedia South Africa joined forces with Wikimedia Foundation to launch the campaign #WikipediaByUs. The campaign was a collaboration with young South African creative community to showcase the power of knowledge and everyone’s right to access, create and share it. The Foundation, through Wikimedia South Africa's social media platforms released online multimedia content built by South African writers, filmmakers, fashion designers, artists and thought leaders, highlighting a variety of topics from popular culture to social politics to the evolution of African cinema, which the public could follow under the hashtag: #WikipediaByUs.

The campaign took place around the time of the unrests and the beginning of government elections in South Africa. Video content produced by creatives and an article written by User: Bobbyshabangu and published by Business Day cover these events and highlight the role of Wikipedia in fighting against misinformation and disinformation.

Annual General Meeting

A screenshot of the Wikimedia South Africa Annual General Meeting. WMF CEO (Maryana Iskander) being introduced to the chapter for the first time.
See also: AGM 2021'

Wikimedia South Africa hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) on 25 September 2021 from 10:00 to 14:00. The event was held entirely online in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. Minutes of the meeting can be seen at the link above. The previous year's activities and financials were presented, a new board was elected, a chapter mission statement was finalised, and the new CEO of the WMF (Maryana Iskander) introduced herself to the chapter.

WMZA administrative maturity

See also: WMZA 2021 Staffing Plan

The July-December 2021 period was an important on-boarding period for the administrator. For medical reasons the administrator was not able to be sufficiently on-boarded and trained in the previous grant period. This period made up for that however the lack of sufficient management time to suitably supervise and train the administrator now became apparent. It is apparent that relaying on the volunteer time of the few highly experienced chapter members capable of providing this supervisory, management and strategy making role is now the most significant barrier to future chapter growth. As such the chapter has decided to request funding to pay for a few days a week worth of management time in an executive director position so as to fully leverage the administrator's potential for the chapter as well as to more fully realize the projects that the chapter wishes to do in the future.

There is also still a need to hire a second part-time administrator located in the Guateng area of the country so as to cater to the needs of the Wikimedia community in that part of the county and to help capacitate projects there. It has also become apparent of the need for this second administrator to be able to speak South African languages that the current administrator is not able to speak, notably Afrikaans. The lack of an Afrikaans speaking administrator on staff is a cause of concern for the Afrikaans speaking members of the Wiki community.

Other than capacity bottlenecks due to a lack of management and partnership development capacity (due to the excessive reliance on chapter volunteer capacity) the administrator position is performing well and the chapter is largely satisfied.

Other administrative issues worth reporting on includes the bi-monthly board meetings held by the chapter. Records of those board meetings and the resulting decisions and actions can be seen at the WMZA webpage below:

Douglas Scott participating in the The Big Debate television show on the issue of the Copyright Protection bill and why is has not been gazetted into law yet.
See also: Wikimedia South Africa/Copyright Amendment Bill
WMZA point person: Discott

The South African Copyright Amendment Bill has still not been signed into law even though it has passed through both houses of parliament. In the July - December 2021 period the chapter attended two hearings on Fair Use provisions in the bill and submitted a letter to parliament in support of Fair Use. The chapter also began work on a second letter to parliament on amendments made to the Fair Use provision that was unexpectedly made by the Parliamentary committee to be submitted in late January 2022. Advocacy work continues with our allies as the bill enters its third year waiting for the presidents signature. Wikimedia South Africa supports the bill because it contains both Fair Use and Freedom of Panorama, both are legal concepts that the chapter advocated for and supports as we believe they are important to making South African law friendlier to editing Wikipedia. Wikimedia South Africa receives no funding from the Wikimedia Foundation to conduct copyright advocacy.

Wiki Bookshelf


Two South African Wikipedia editors requested and received books to assist with their editing activities. These books were used as references for multiple articles on history and botany on English and Afrikaans Wikipedia respectively. Since the start of the 2021/22 financial year the experienced local editors benefiting from the bookshelf project have created 2 080 articles in two different languages (Afrikaans and English) with 6 220 Wikipedia articles have been edited (dashboard). A particular thanks must go out to Oesjaar for making the bulk of those edits using references from the bookshelf, most notably on expanding and improving fynbos related articles on Afrikaans Wikipedia.


Wikimedia ZA expenses for Jul-Dec 2021 In South African Rands
Grant Expenses Account
Writing competition R7,000.00
Afrikaans birthday event R11,796.50
Wikipedia bookshelf R352.00
Website costs R2,682.18
Printing & other office costs R759.00
Banking and postal costs R1430.24
Bookkeeper services R26,987.63
Accounting R9,775.00
Staff costs R115,099.00
Total expenses R175,881.55
Amount of grant funding remaining as of 31/12/2021 R 244,051.45
Chapter funds remaining as of 31/12/2021 R 5,997.81

Final report (second half of FY2021/22)


This section of the Annual report covers the second half of the WMZA Financial Year 2021/22 which ran from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022.

General Outreach


Kaapse, Khôi and San Xam'issa Language Project

Michael presents the key concepts of editing Wikipedia at the second Xam language Wikipedia outreach event.
See also: Kaapse, Khôi and San Xam'issa Language Project
WMZA point person: Discott & Michaelgraaf

Khoi and San Xam'issa Language Project is an ongoing outreach project run by Wikimedia South Africa to encourage Khoekhoe language, San and (hopefully) Kaaps language speakers to edit Wikipedia and encourage the incubation of Xan, Khoi, and/or Kaaps language versions of Wikipedia. Meetings and workshops were conducted to help establish a future community of Wikipedia editors to start Xan, Khoi and Kaaps language Wikipedias. These outreach efforts were done with community members and academics from the University of Cape Town.

Kimberley edit-a-thon

Participants at the Kimberley 'learn to edit Wikipedia' event.
See also: Kimberley edit-a-thon
WMZA point person: Bobbyshabangu

The Kimberley edit-a-thon was organised by WikimediaZA in partnership with the Kimberley Public Library book club to recruit new editors, increase positive perceptions of Wikimedia and raise awareness about content gaps that exists on Wikipedia about the rich historical significance of Kimberley.


See also: 1Lib1Ref 2022 South Africa
WMZA point person: IngridThomson & Bobbyshabangu

The 1Lib1Ref campaign for 2022 in South Africa comprised of two components with the first leg being hosted in January 2022 and the second in May/June 2022.

Dhasa Conference Workshop

See Also: Dhasa Conference Workshop
WMZA point person: IngridThomson & Bobbyshabangu

The DHASA conference is an interdisciplinary annual conference for researchers and academics working on all areas of Digital Humanities to create the conditions for the emergence of a scientific Digital Humanities community of practice. Wikimedia ZA was given a slot at the conference and ran an edit-a-thon to teach participants on the academic use of Wikipedia, Wikivarsity and Wikisource. This led to strengthening our relationship with the academic communities and we are currently in talks with several universities language department to run Wikipedia edit workshops which we hope will activate new users who will contribute to small South African language Wikipedias.

Digify Africa

See also: Digify Africa
WMZA point person: Bobbyshabangu

Wikimedia ZA has partnered with Digify Africa, a Digital Marketing academic institution to run a translation drive where participants translate existing South Africa content from the English Wikipedia to small language South African Wikipedias. This is run as a writing competition with Winning prizes including:

  • First prize: Laptop
  • Second prize: Tablet
  • Third prize: Book voucher
  • Other Participants: Wikimedia T-shirts and Swag

The training is ongoing and 60 participants have participated in the training workshop thus far and started to create articles.

The Digify Africa Dashboard showing metrics for the first cohort

Community support




During the second half of the FY 2021/22 year WMZA hosted the following community meetups:

Wikipedia bookshelf


The Wikipedia bookshelf project continued to provide access to source material for South African Wikipedia editors. By the end of the 2021/22 finaical year a total of 2,970 new articles were created and an additional 7,860 articles edited on both English and Afrikaans Wikipedas by participants in the program.

Wikimedia South Africa's submission to the South African Parliament in January 2022.
See also: Wikimedia South Africa/Copyright Amendment Bill
WMZA point person: Discott

Copyright activism continued with weekly meetings with ReCreate (the pro-bill umbrella advocacy group that WMZA co-founded) were held every Monday. During this period (January 2022 to June 2022) additional hearings on the Copyright Amendment bill were held in parliament to discuss the addition of Fair Use. WMZA attended these hearings and submitted commentary on the bill to the South African parliamentary committee.As part of these advocacy efforts Douglas Scott (WMZA) was a panelist on The Economic Impact of the Copyright Amendment Bill hosted by the South African United Business Confederation.

Wikimedia South Africa supports the bill as it adopts both Fair Use and Freedom of Panorama into South African law. Legal concepts that will make it easier to edit Wikipedia in the country. Although the chapter receives no funding from the WMF to engage in these advocacy efforts we have included it into this report to better record the full activities of the chapter in this period.

WIPO application


During this period WMZA also applied for observer status membership at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). We did this to support the Wikimedia Foundation's effort to get Wiki representation at WIPO following their two failed applications for observatory status due to China objecting to the Wiki's community's recognition of a Taiwanese Wikimedia Chapter. WMZA was informed on the 15 July 2022 that our application had been rejected along with the application of six other chapters. In May 2022 another six Wikimedia chapters had previously been rejected for WIPO observer status.

WMZA administration

See also: WMZA 2021 Staffing Plan

The second half of the 2021/22 financial year proceeded without significant incident and progress was made with some training and oversight despite the limitations of relaying on volunteer time for this. The chapter is happy to note that funding for managerial and training time for the administrator was granted in the 2022/23 grant request. During this period discussions were held with the Afrikaans Academy to provide some part time administrative assistance to the chapter for the Afrikaans language community and to the community located in Guateng Province; an MOU was draw up and agreed to with them. Budget for this purpose was included into the 2022/23 grant request.

Other administrative issues worth reporting on includes the change to board meetings being held once every two months with the addition of a bimonthly operations meeting being adopted to coordinate the execution of chapter tasks. This was done so as to reduce volunteer fatigue of board members whilst retaining the operational effectiveness of the chapter. Records of those board meetings and the resulting decisions and actions can be seen below:

Financial report

A final version of the final financial statement for Wikimedia South Africa for the financial year July 2021 to June 2022.

Wikimedia South Africa received R 419,330.49 in the 2021/22 annual grant which was used to run the progams recorded in this report (with the exception of advocacy work which was done on an entirely voluntary basis). It is noted that the chapter, at the WMF's request, keeps two accounts. One for funds received from the Wikimedia Foundation and one (chapter account) for all other funding sources. This is reflected in the table below.

Wikimedia ZA expenses for Jul 2021 to Jun 2022 In South African Rands
Grant Expenses Account
Accounting fees 43,829.00
Advertising 7,228.00
Allowances/petty cash 3,000.00
Bank & financial costs 2,969.00
Equipment (computers) 3,407.00
Tangible assets 1,993.00
Office expenses 11,299.00
Prizes & gifts (ie. writing competitions) 7,350.00
Review fees 9,775.00
Staff costs 270,494.00
Total expenses 361,344.00
Grant funds received by 01/06/2021 419,330.49
Amount of grant funding remaining as of 30/05/2022 in the WMF-WMZA account 57,986.49
Chapter funds held in the chapter account remaining on 30/05/2022 8,104.62