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WM ZA/Annual Report 2022-23

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This report outlines and summarises the activities that Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) has conducted from July 2022 to June 2023. This period also covers Wikimedia South Africa's financial year (FY)for 2022/23. This report is divided into four parts, chapter governance, mid-term report, end of year report, and the financial report. The chapter governance section is an update on the chapters current status. The mid-term report covers the first half of the 2022/23 financial year whilst the end of year report mostly focuses on the second half of the year whilst attempting to wrap up the year as a whole, each of these sections are divided into Outreach activities and community activities. The financial report covers the chapters finances and is sub-dived into a mid-term section and an end-of-year section.

An estimated total of 1010 hours of unpaid volunteer hours were donated to the chapter by its volunteer members over the course of the 2022/23 year; this number does not include time editing the Wikis or community meetups.

Chapter governance

A screenshot of the chapter's 2022 AGM.

Wikimedia South Africa elected a new board on 1 October 2022. The chapter would like to thank the previous board for their contribution to the chapter. At the 2022 AGM a new board as appointed until the next AGM to be held on 18 November 2023.

In addition to the administrative partnership with the Afrikaans Academy explained in more detail below WMZA would like to publicly thank OpenUp for allowing us to use a part of their space at the Codebridge for chapter activies. WMZA in Cape Town has been meeting at the Codebridge every Friday to coordinate chapter activities and work on chapter events. We have found this space to be of great utility to the chapter and we are grateful to OpenUp for letting us use it at no cost. WMZA would like to formalise this arrangement with OpenUp and rent a permanent space at the Codebridge in the next grant cycle at act as the chapter's office space.

WMZA Administrator


Wikimedia South Africa has had a full time employee since March 2020 who performs all administrative and clerical duties in the Chapter as well as assistant volunteers on their project in logistical aspects of the projects Some of the changes and impact brought about bringing the administrator in the chapter has been to coordinate and manage activities including organising meetings, conferences, and other gatherings and taking minutes, Coordinating travel and accommodation, assist in planning and organising events, maintain chapter records, databases, and filing systems, assist with overseeing interns and doing other adhoc duties in the chapter. Some of the project she helped managed include the Wikimania 2022 South Africa event page, Kimberley edit-a-thon, Wikiproject Khoe & Saan Heritage, Afrocuration South Africa 2023. Bobby Shabangu and Douglas Scott manages the administrator by way of having checking in meetings every Friday. Administrator's Work Plan can be viewed HERE


see also:Wikimedia South Africa/Internship Programme

The Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) Internship Programme aims to provide an opportunity for young South African graduates from previously disadvantaged communities to gain experience in the labor market and give them a leg up to get employment opportunities while introducing them to Wikimedia. The first cohort of two interns started with the chapter in April 2022 and ended their time with the chapter in October 2022. The second cohort started in November 2022 and ended their time with the chapter in April 2023.

Afrikaans Academy partnership

WMZA chapter board member Deon Steyn cuts the Afrikaans language Wikipedia's birthday cake with the Academy CEO Prof. Anne-Marie Beukes at the Afrikaans Wikipedia birthday event.

The Afrikaans Academy partnership is a partnership programme initiated by our Afrikaans Wikipedia representative chapter member Deon Steyn (User:Oesjaar) between the chapter and the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (hereafter refered to as the Afrikaans Academy). The partnership seeks to achieve two goals for the chapter. The first is to provide an administrative base in the Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria) area for chapter operations. Piror to this agreement the chapter only had an administrator in Cape Town and no one to assist the Gauteng based community. The second goal it to help support the growth of the Afrikaans Wiki community as prior to this agreement the chapter did not have any staff that could speak the Afrikaans language. The Academy has entered into the agreement to help it fulfill its goal of supporting the growth and standardisation of the Afrikaans language online.

The partnership agreement seeks to achieve these two goals by sub-contracting an administrative assistant from the Afrikaans Academy for no more than 8 hours and use of their office in Pretoria for selected events. In return the chapter agreed to pay the Academy R5 000 a month for the duration of the agreement. This includes assisting with the hosting of the annual Afrikaans Wikipedia birthday event which was hosted at the Academy on 16 November 2022. It also included Oesjaar training the Academy administrative assistant.

This agreement was signed on 23 August 2022 and will last for 12 months there after terminating on the 22 August 2023 with an option for renewal if both parties agree.

Mid term activity report


This mid-term report covers the period from July to December 2022. During this time, Wikimedia ZA spearheaded efforts to strengthen the South African Wikimedia community, in particular, the development of new and existing contributors, rekindle relationships with old partners and strengthen relationships with existing partners. The report details activities such as the organisation of edit-a-thons, the development of content-specific partnerships, and advocacy work around copyright amendment bill. It also provides an overview of the impact of the organization’s activities, such as the number of articles created and the total number of edits made by the South African Wikimedia community. Finally, the report provides an outlook for the future, with the focus on further developing the South African Wikimedia community.



Outreach events focus on increasing awareness of the free knowledge movement and encourage new people to edit the Wikis. This includes partnership development as well as the encouragement of the formation of new Wiki communities. It is one of the two main strategic objectives of Wikimedia South Africa.

Kimberley edit-a-thon

A group photograph at the Kimberley edit workshop.
WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: Kimberley Public Library
see also: Kimberley edit-a-thon

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. This was the first Wiki event organised by WMZA in the Northern Cape region of South Africa. The event happened on the 1 July 2022 with 13 people participating.

Wikiproject Khoe & Saan Heritage

Wikipedia Training at one of the first Khoe langauge sessions.
WMZA volunteers: michaelgraaf
see also: Wikiproject Khoe & Saan Heritage

This project seeks to catalyse the creation of Saan and Khoe language versions of Wikipedia, to improve coverage of Khoe and Saan culture and heritage in existing Wikipedias, and to foster new user groups. Since the participants are mostly native speakers of Kaaps (see below) they are also preparing to be involved with that.

Kaaps Wikipedia

WMZA point person: Discott
Project partner: University of Cape Town

This project seeks to catalyse the creation of a Kaaps langauge version of Wikipedia. The chapter is partnering with academics at the University of Cape Town to help form the nucleus of a community of Kaaps langauge Wikipedia editors. The objective of this project is to get enough support to launche a Kaaps language Wikipedia in Wiki Incubator. Three meetings were had with academics in the last half of 2022.

Stellenbosch Afrikaans editor training

Participants at the Afrikaans language Wikipedia training event held in Stellenbosch.
WMZA volunteers: Oesjaar
Project partner: Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal

On the 18th of October an editor training for Afrikaans language editors was hosted in Stellenbosch by the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) who made their facilities available and co-organised the event. This event sought to strengthen the Afrikaans language Wiki community by increasing awareness of contributing to the Wikis by an important Afrikaans language institution.

November 2022 lead training at the Academy for interested members of the public to learn how to edit Wikipedia in Afrikaans.


WMZA volunteers: IngridThomson
Project partner: National Library of South Africa

WikimediaZA has an informal partnership with the National Library of South Africa to run a series of workshops for the National Library of South Africa. There was a series of meetings in November and December 2022. The workshops are aimed at equipping public librarians across the country to add content, and it is envisaged that this will take the form of a train-the-trainer workshop.

AIJC 2022

WMZA volunteers: Thuvack NobantuModise Bobbyshabangu Fouadas
Presentation at the AIJC 2022 Wits
see also: Wikimedia ZA at AIJC 2022

Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) board members have participated in the 18th African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC2022) held in Johannesburg, Wits University from 18th to 20th May 2022. Dumisani Ndubane, Bobby Shabangu, Nobantu Modise and Faoud Asfour who represented the Chapter had the opportunity to participate in a panel and workshop at the conference, highlighting the importance of open source and free content in the media landscape. The speakers discussed the challenges facing African media, the need for investigative journalism to be conducted in the most ethical and responsible manner, and the need for digital media to be used to ensure the safety of journalists and media practitioners, the role of Wikipedia to hold government accountable by codifying ministers profiles and government's decisions.


WMZA volunteers: IngridThomson Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: National Library of South Africa
see also: 1Lib1Ref South Africa 2022

The 1lib1Ref campaign in South Africa aimed to raise awareness about the importance of reliable references and open source research materials to improve Wikipedia articles related to African topics. The campaign successfully engaged with the library and academic community to highlight the need for new and updated library resources, and encouraged librarians to take part in the initiative. Ultimately, the campaign was not only successful in improving references references in Wikipedia articles but it activated new users, encouraged the creation of new articles.

1Lib1Ref South Africa 2022

SADilaR Hackathon

WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR)

Wikimedia ZA taught participants how to create, edit and improve Wikipedia articles to inform and expand research, and encouraged them to use the platform to share their research and contribute to the global conversation.

Digify Africa

WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: Difify Africa
see also: Digify Africa edit-a-thon

WikimediaZA has partnered with Digify Africa to run an edit workshop where participants will create Wikipedia articles about South African content. The activities will comprise of translating existing content from the English Wikipedia to small language South African Wikipedias.

DHASA Summer School

Wikimedia side event during the Dhasa conference.
WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa
see also: Dhasa Summer School 2022

Wikimedia ZA presented at the DHASA summer school to provide participants with an understanding of the importance of Wikipedia in academia, including how it can be used to support research, provide access to sources, and engage with the public.

Edit your pride

Participants at the Edit Your Pride event at the Iziko Museum of Natural History in Cape Town.
Participants at the Edit Your Pride event in Johannesburg.
WMZA volunteers: IngridThomson, Discott, Bobbyshabangu & michaelgraaf
Project partner: Iziko Museums
see also: Edit Your Pride

The Edit Your Pride event was hosted by Wikimedia South Africa in partnership with Iziko Museums on Saturday 15 October 2022. The event was held in two locations at once with the main event taking place at the Iziko Museum of Natural History in Cape Town and a second event, held at the same time, at The Forge in Johannesburg. The primary purpose of the event was to increase awareness of Wikipedia and how to start editing; with a long term intention of growing the Wikipedia editing community in South Africa and increase diversity by encouraging the inclusion of the LGBT community. The secondary purpose of the event was to increase and improve content on Wikipedia relevant to the LGBT community. Although it achieved limited success in improving Wikipedia content it did result in the cementing of a new partnership with Iziko Museums, the growth in WMZA chapter membership, and the creation of new connections with the University of Cape Town archives. The chapter regards this as a significant success.

Cape Flats Book Festival

Some of the participants of the Cape Flats Book Festival Wikipedia session posing for a group photograph.
WMZA point person: Discott
see also: WM_ZA/October_2022#Cape_Flats_Book_Festival

Wikimedia South Africa hosted a session at the Cape Flats Book Festival on Sunday 16 October 2022. This was an outreach effort to increase awareness of Wikipedia and how it works. Discussions and a long two hour Q&A was held to answer questions about Wikipedia, NPOV, good sources, how to edit and/or start a Wikipedia article, and conflict of editing rules.

About 5 or 6 people participated in the event with the chapter being invited back to Festival in the following year. This event allowed the chapter to connect with an under represented demographic group on Wikipedia with the long term intention of increasing the diversity of the South African editing community.

Art feminism

Group photograph of the participants at the 11 September 2022 Art Feminism event.
WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: Ndoli Jowei
see also: A celebration of African women artists: Final report

WMZA did a number of editathons with Ndoli Jowei in a programme called A celebration of African women artists (ID: 21852977). This project was funed through a WMF grant that is not connected to WMZA's annual grant. WMZA volunteers were present at all of the events to lead and implement the training.



Community support activies seek to serve the existing Wiki editing community. This can be done by hosting community building projects such as hosting social events or making the editing of Wikis easier by helping to create new technologies or engaging in advocacy work. It is one of the two main strategic objectives of Wikimedia South Africa.

Wikimania 2022

A group photograph of most of the attendees of the opening reception of the 2022 Cape Town mini-Wikimania on the first day of activities (Friday).
WMZA volunteers: Discott in Cape Town & Bobbyshabangu in Johannesburg
Project partner: Wikimedia Foundation, iNtaka Law Tech Lab at the University of Cape Town, & the Constitution Hill
see also: Wikimania 2022 South Africa event page, Wikimania 2022 Cape Town Report, Wikimania 2022 South Africa Scholarships Report, & Wikimania 2022 Entertainment Grant Application

WMZA assisted in the 2022 Wikimania by hosting two localised Wikimania events in South Africa while the main event was hosted online, one event in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg. In Cape Town the mini-event lasted for the whole of the confrence with a special local session focusing on Copyright advocacy. The Johannesburg event was hosted on one day of the confrence with the Johannesburg team assisting with the creation of a special video on Zulu Culture that was shown at the international conference.

The localised mini-Wikimanias allowed community members in South Africa to digitally attend the online conference whilst also connecting with the local community and local WMF employees and contractors. This was a great success and it much to strengthen community health whilst also strengthening the chapter's partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation. A highlight of the event was a Wikimania reception that WMZA hosted on the first day of Wikimania, this event was attended by many local partners and community members including the CEO of the WMF, Maryana Iskander.

WMZA also awarded scholarships for this event, the report detailing the scholarship programme can be read here.

Note: This was not funded in this grant, funded through a special grant from the WMF.

WikiIndaba 2022

Group photograph of at WikiIndaba 2022.
WMZA volunteers: Bobbyshabangu
Project partner: Wikimedia User Group Rwanda
see also: WikiIndaba conference 2022

WMZA assisted in the organisation and hosting of WikiIndaba 2022 in Rwanda, most notably in handling the dissemination of funds for the purpose of hosting the conference.

Note: Not funded through the annual grant, funded through another special grant from the WMF.


A group photograph of the Cape Town meetup on the 26 November 2022 celebrating the chapter's tenth anniversary.

WMZA hosted the following community meetups in the first half of the 2022/23 FY. WMZA strongly feels that promoting community health through the hosting of social events for the local Wiki editing community is a vital part of a chapter's responsibility. As such we are proud to be the sponsors of these meetups.

The chapter is pleased to announce that as of the 26 November 2022 the chapter has restarted face-to-face meetups after a three year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The November 2022 event was both the first face-to-face community meetup hosted by the chapter since COVID-19 as well as being the 10th anniversary celebration of the chapter. Meetups were held in both Johannesburg and Cape Town on the 26 November. WMZA would like to thank the Codebridge for allowing us to use their space for the November 2022 meetup.

The South African Parliament vote on the Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers Protection Bill on 1 September 2022. Shades of green votes in favour of the bill. Shades of red or orange votes against the bill. The governing African National Congress is displayed on the bottom of the graph whilst all the opposition parties are displayed on the top of the graph.
WMZA volunteers: Discott
Project partner: ReCreate South Africa & Wikimedia Foundation Advocacy programme
see also: Wikimedia South Africa/Copyright Amendment Bill

Wikimedia South Africa continued its support for calls to add Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use adopted into South African law. To that end WMZA continued to press for the adoption of the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) by continuing to monitor the advocacy space on the issue and preparing for public submissions and a conference that will be more extensively covered in the end of year report. This also included presenting on and hosting discussions around advocacy in Africa at WikiIndaba 2022 in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation's Advocacy programme.

On 17 October 2022 WMZA received our official notification from WIPO that our application for observer status at the organisation was unsuccessful. Although we had known about the rejection since 15 July 2022 the physical letter took a number of months to reach us. The application, along with the applications of 6 other chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation, was rejected by China due to the Wikimedia communities recognition of Wikimedia Taiwan.

Note: Not funded through the annual grant, unpaid volunteer driven entirely.



The Wiki Bookshelf project allows Wikipedia editors to request and receive reference material to edit Wikipedia. Interested Wikipedia editors can apply for the chapter to purchase a specific reference material and make a case for why they need it. The chapter will then purchase it and keep a record of that reference source so that it can be shared with other members of the community when the reference source has been used. The impact of this year's book shelf can be seen here.

End of year activity report


The end of year activity report covers the period 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023.

A screenshot from the Wikimedia South Africa dashboard of Wikimedia South Africa projects for 2022/2023 as of 31 October 2023. It does not include all WMZA projects done in this period.



Language support

SADiLaR partnership
See also: SADiLaR 2023
Point person: Discott, Bobby, Ingrid Thomson
The Wikimedia South Africa booth at DH-IGNITE 2023 hosted by SADiLaR. It was at this event that WMZA started conversations with SADiLaR about the African language Wikipedia support project.

Wikimedia South Africa is passionate about supporting the growth of Wikipedia in African languages. The chapter has adopted a strategy that works with the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) as a key partner for this objective as they have access, and an official mandate from government, to support the growth of all of South Africa's official languages.

Wikimedia South Africa hosted a booth at the SADiLaR conference, DH-IGNITE, on 8-10 March 2023 during which conversations began on developing a Wikipedia based language support program.

In the last half of the 2022/23 financial year Wikimedia South Africa worked with SADiLaR as a partnership organisation to develop a project that will support the growth of South African language Wikipedias. Key to this has been to catalyze the growth of language communities on their respective Wikipedias by hosting events with language activists and experts. SADiLaR has access to this network of people passionate about South African languages whilst Wikimedia South Africa can introduce and train people to start editing Wikipedia in their respective languages.

During this period we developed a program that will be implemented in the Fiancial year 2023/24 through to the end of 2024 to run a series of workshops, hosted at multiple South African universities, to train langauge activists and experts from all of South Africa's languages to edit Wikipedia. SADiLaR will provide the venues, matching funding, and full the rooms up with participants whilst Wikimedia South Africa will run the workshops and introduce them to editing Wikipedia, all run by experienced Wikipedia editors.

The launch event for the SADiLaR Wikipedia training initiative will take place at UNISA in Pretoria on 20 September 2023.

Afrikaans Wiki roadshow
Point person: Deon Steyn
Deon talking about Afrikaans Wikipedia in Windhoek, Namibia.

On the 27 April 2023 Wikimedia South Africa did a language roadshow event in Windhoek, Nambia to raise awareness of Afrikaans language Wikipedia and how to get involved editing it. The one day training workshop focused on giving participants basic Wikipedia editing skills so as to encourage them to start editing Wikipedia and encourage others they know to also contribute to Wikipedia. A secondary objective was partnership building with mission aligned Namibian organisations. A total of 12 people from various Afrikaans language literary groups as well as private individuals in Namibia attended the event.

Kiwix outreach

See also: Hackathon 2023: Collaborating to Empower Girls in ICT
Point person: Michael Graaf

"Collaborating to Empower Girls in ICT: Celebrating Success at the Gender Standing Group, Zimbabwe Internet Society Chapter, and Purpose Finder Academy Event"

Over 40 girls and boys gathered at the Purpose Finder Academy in Cape Town to celebrate the Girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Day on 27 March 2023. The event was organized in collaboration with Gender Standing Group and Internet Society Zimbabwe, and aimed at inspiring young women to pursue careers in the technology industry.

One of the facilitators at the Girls in ICT Celebration Event was Michael Graaf (WMZA), who provided great insight into Kiwix offline resources and their benefits. Graaf highlighted the importance of having access to online content, even in areas with limited internet connectivity. He explained that Kiwix is a free and open-source software that enables users to download and browse offline copies of web content. Graaf emphasized that Kiwix can be particularly useful in areas where internet connectivity is unreliable or costly. By downloading offline copies of web content, users can access valuable information without being dependent on an internet connection. This is especially relevant in developing countries, where internet access is often limited, and data costs are high.Moreover, Kiwix can be used to provide educational resources to remote areas without internet access. Graaf provided examples of how Kiwix has been used to provide educational content to students in rural areas, enabling them to access textbooks and other learning materials even when internet connectivity is not available.

Wiki Loves Plants

See also: Wiki Loves Plants (commons)
Point person: Discott

Wiki Loves Plants is a photographic competition that seeks to increase the number, quality and range of photographs of plant species that have been correctly identified for use on Wikipedia. The project is unique within the Wiki community for doing this by hosting the event on iNaturalist which allows for photographs to be correctly identified and tagged before being uploaded to Commons. Key to this event is ensuring that participants on iNaturatlist upload their photographs under a copyright licence that is compatable with Wikimedia Commons. This makes this competition as much an open copyright awareness project as it is a photographic competition.

Winning photographs were selected primarily on their ability to accurately illustrate the plant in a way that effectivly allows people to use for identification purposes. Secondarily we looked for how well the photo also gave some impression of the plant's preferred habitat and its relationship with other organisms. Finally we looked for photos that were also visually appealing.

Impact: The competition received a total of 624 qualifying submissions detailing 349 plant species. All of these pictures were moved to Commons and many have been used to illustrate Wikipedia articles.

National Press Club Discussion Evening

See also: National Press Club Discussion Evening
Point person: Bobbyshabangu
Director of National Press Club delivering a welcome speech.
Wikimedia members and Journalists

The National Press Club hosted an evening discussion with Wikimedia ZA to explore the role of journalism on Wikipedia. The evening included a presentation by a Wikimedia representatives on the history and impact of Wikipedia, as well as how journalists can contribute to making Wikipedia the best source of information for the public. Discussions focus on how news articles produced by journalists feed onto the quality of references in Wikipedia articles as well as the lack of references covering African stories.

AfroCuration South Africa 2023

Read the full article: Afrocuration South Africa 2023
Point person: Bobby Shebangu

On the 22nd and 23rd of March, AfroCuration South Africa, in collaboration with the Constitutional Hill Trust, hosted an edit-a-thon workshop at the Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa, partnering with Wikimedia ZA and Harambee. The event's main theme was "Who Are We?" in recognition of Human Rights Day, celebrated on March 21. The goal was to encourage students to take responsibility for their stories while preserving African languages.

Sixty students attended the two-day edit-a-thon workshop with representatives from five schools in Soweto, Johannesburg: Missourilaan Secondary School, Vuwani Secondary School, Seana Marena High School, Bona Comprehensive School, and Thaba-Jabula Secondary School. The students got an opportunity to edit and translate articles under the sub-theme "Prejudice-dictionary" This was a method of unpacking dangerous prejudices and developing an active understanding. Articles were translated into four South African languages, namely Tshivenda, Sesotho, isiZulu, and Afrikaans.

SiSwati Wikipedia Edit and Translation Workshop

See also: SiSwati Wikipedia Edit & Translation Workshop 2023
Point person: Bobbyshabangu

The three winners of the writing contest a a facilitator in red.
2 facilitators of the writing contest in Eswatini

Wikimedia South Africa (Wikimedia ZA), in collaboration with the University of Eswatini's Department of Humanities, hosted a SiSwati editing and translation workshop for both students and academics from 27 to 28 April 2023. The two-day training was held online via the Zoom platform, and it aimed to increase Siswati language Wikipedia as well as activate new users who will contribute to the Siswati Wikipedia.

The training included a two-week editing contest after the workshop to give participants time to edit and translate from English to SiSwati. Prizes for the top three participants who would have edited an article with photographs and categories and at least 100 words included a laptop for first prize, the second winner receiving a tablet, and the third winner receiving a data voucher.



Community meetups

A group photograph of the Wikipedia birthday celebration in Cape Town on 15 January 2023.

The Wikimedia ZA hosted a Wikipedia 22nd birthday celebration, the first in-person meet-up since COVID-19, on 15 January 2023. The celebration was held in two cities in Johannesburg at the Olives & Plates Embassy Towers and in Cape Town at the Tiger's Milk in Claremont. The face-to-face meeting gave Wikipedians who share common interests an opportunity to connect, network, and share options and suggestions on how to continue creating African content on Wikipedia.

Group photograph at the 29th South Africa meetup held at Truth Coffee in Cape Town on 24 June 2023.

WMZA continued to host a number of community hybrid meetups in the second half of the 2022/23 FY with each meetup being held both in person and online. WMZA strongly feels that promoting community health through the hosting of social events for the local Wiki editing community is a vital part of a chapter's responsibility. Most of the in-person meetups were held in Cape Town which, along with Johannesburg, has an active volunteer Wikipedia community.


Wikimedia South Africa and friends during the Right2Research in Africa conference calling for Freedom of Panorama in South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 2023. The statue of Nelson Mandela is censored out so as to comply with a lack of a Freedom of Panorama Claus in SA law.
Point person: Discott

From January 23 to January 27, 2023, Wikimedia ZA representatives attended a Week of Debates on Copyright and Access to Knowledge in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa. WMZA was an organizing partner in this event. The goal of these discussions was to advocate for openness in research through advocacy and education. To advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data in Africa.

Policymakers, academics, and activists from across the African continent, as well as African researchers, legal experts, and intergovernmental organisations, gathered to network, share ideas, thoughts, and suggestions, and ask questions. One of the key questions asked include “Do African researchers have access to the data they need?” and “ Does copyright law help or hinder the Right to Research?”.

This concluded by acknowledging the fact that answering these questions requires the very latest computational research methods. We need to mine information from research sources and databases all over the world.

The Right to Research Coalition and its members work to educate the next generation of researchers, administrators, and policymakers about the benefits of open research while also advocating for progressive policies at the local, national, and international levels.

Point person: Discott

On the 5 June 2023 Wikimedia South Africa, along with Wikimedia Chile, Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedia Sweden, co-hosted a workshop at RightsCon on "What we talk about when we talk about free knowledge: Wikimedia strategies for advocacy." The aim of the workshop was to share experiences of advocating on copyright reated issues and how to get involved in that.

Douglas Scott presenting to the Western Cape legislative assembly on the need for Freedom of Panorama in South African copyright law.
See also:South African Copyright_Amendment_Bill advocacy
Point person: Discott and Bobby Shabangu

Throughout February and March 2023,the Wikimedia ZA representatives joined the provincial legislative hearings on the Copyright Amendment Bill in both Gauteng and the Western Cape. The chapter also gave a presentation to the South African National Parliament on why we support the adoption of Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use into South African law.

Whilst Freedom of Panorama is uncontroversial and widely supported as an additional copyright exception that needs to be added to any future copyright legislation, Fair Use remains controversial. Industry sectors such as the music collecting societies, publishers and broadcasters such as Netflix argue that it will disrupt their business models and so argue against it. Supporters of adopting Fair Use, such as legal academics, librarians, educators and those in the technology sector argue that it maximises the public interest by providing easier access to knowledge, promotes creativity, furthers the development of technology industries and future proofs copyright exceptions.

For more information on the chapter’s copyright advocacy activities check the Copyright Amendment Bill page on meta.

Afrikaans community support

Point person: Deon Steyn

The Afrikaans language Wikipedia has reached a takeoff point in terms of the number of readers and number of articles on the Wikipedia. As such the language community has expressed a strong desire for additional resources to support this take off and further grow the Wikipedia. Wikimedia South Africa as been supporting this effort by continuing support for the Afrikaans Academy. The Academy, under the guidance of WMZA board member Deon Steyn, has done a number of activities in support of growing the Afrikaans langauge Wikipedia community.

These include the hosting of weekly online training sessions for new editors every Wednesday eventing (19:00-20:00) since February 2023. Doing interviews with the media to raise awareness of Afrikaans Wikipedia. Assisting with organising the Afrikaans Wikipedia roadshow to Windhoek, Namibia in April 2023. Writing up an Afrikaans language newsletter about the state of the Wikipedia. And planning the Afrikaans language Wikipedia writing competition for schools.

Administrative milestones

  • Botswana support
  • New website

Wikimedia ZA Strategic Communication Workshop

Wikimedia ZA Members listening to the Strategic Communications Workshop 2023 presented by Belinda Mbambo.

Wikimedia Foundation hosted a strategic communication workshop on 25 March 2023 at the Red Radisson Hotel, Rosebank. Belinda Mbambo led the workshop, and in attendance from the Wikipedia Foundation were Dumisani Ndubane, Nobantu Modise, and Gwadamirai Majange, and from the Wikimedia ZA team were the South African president chapter Bobby Shabangu, Pfano Ranwedzi, Shupai Mchuchu, and Zenande Mantlana.

The workshop covers the importance of how the chapter can identify its audience and how to present itself to the larger audience. The workshop was informative and knowledgeable, where the audience had an opportunity to ask questions and also help define the objectives for the Wikimedia South Africa chapter. Read the full article: Wikimedia Foundation Strategic Communications Workshop

Financial report


Mid-term financial report


This section covers the first half of the 2022/23 finical year or, in other words, the period from 1 July to 31 December 2022. All amount are denominated in South African Rands (ZAR) unless otherwise stipulated.

Amount budgeted for FY2022/23 US$ value budgeted for FY2022/23 Amount spent between July - December 2022 Amount remaining on 31 December 2022
Support African language Wikis 3,600.00 ZAR $240.00 0.00 ZAR 3,600.00 ZAR
Encourage diversity of Wikipedia editors 36,000.00 ZAR $2,400.00 2,605.00 ZAR 33,395.00 ZAR
Local Wiki Content Creation 4,000.00 ZAR $266.67 0.00 ZAR 4,000.00 ZAR
Wiki Loves events 40,000.00 ZAR $2,666.67 0.00 ZAR 40,000.00 ZAR
Community building & health 23,250.00 ZAR $1,550.00 0.00 ZAR 23,250.00 ZAR
WMF support & engagement 86,400.00 ZAR $5,760.00 0.00 ZAR 86,400.00 ZAR
Wikimania scholarships 0.00 ZAR $0.00 0.00 ZAR 0.00 ZAR
Outreach roadshow 54,600.00 ZAR $3,640.00 5,577.00 ZAR 49,023.00 ZAR
Staff 789,600.00 ZAR $52,640.00 511,988.08 ZAR 277,611.92 ZAR
Chapter administration 201,400.00 ZAR $13,426.67 85,306.80 ZAR 116,093.20 ZAR
Communications 38,000.00 ZAR $2,533.33 0.00 ZAR 38,000.00 ZAR
Total 1,276,850.00 ZAR $85,123.33 609,076.88 ZAR 667,773.12 ZAR

Final financial report


This section details the final financial status of the grant to Wikimedia South Africa as it was on 30 June 2023. It covers the full financial year of 2022/23 spanning the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. The financial report as compiled by the accountants will be done after the 31 July 2023. It will be added to this report upon its completion.

Amount budgeted for FY2022/23 US$ value budgeted for FY2022/23 Amount spent during the FY2022/23 Amount remaining on 30 June 2023
Support African language Wikis 3,600.00 ZAR $240.00 0.00 ZAR 3,600.00 ZAR
Encourage diversity of Wikipedia editors 36,000.00 ZAR $2,400.00 16,037 ZAR 19,963.40 ZAR
Local Wiki Content Creation 4,000.00 ZAR $266.67 0.00 ZAR 4,000.00 ZAR
Wiki Loves events 40,000.00 ZAR $2,666.67 20,132.00 ZAR 27,200.00 ZAR
Community building & health 23,250.00 ZAR $1,550.00 20,132 ZAR 3,118.20 ZAR
WMF support & engagement 86,400.00 ZAR $5,760.00 0.00 ZAR 86,400.00 ZAR
Wikimania scholarships 0.00 ZAR $0.00 0.00 ZAR 0.00 ZAR
Outreach roadshow 54,600.00 ZAR $3,640.00 21,728 ZAR 32,872.24 ZAR
Staff 789,600.00 ZAR $52,640.00 725,071 ZAR 64,529.20 ZAR
Chapter administration 201,400.00 ZAR $13,426.67 133,544 ZAR 67,856.45 ZAR
Communications 38,000.00 ZAR $2,533.33 22,207 ZAR 15,793.10 ZAR
Total 1,276,850.00 ZAR $85,123.33 951,517.36 ZAR 325,332.64 ZAR