This year we at Wikimedia ZA <http://wikimedia.org.za/> have taken the big
step of properly setting ourselves up as a fully formed Wikimedia
has been a very big and busy year for us in this regard and I want to share
with all of you what we have been up to this past year. This is the first
of what we hope to be a regular monthly update for everyone based in or
with a strong interest in South Africa and contributing to the many
different Wiki based projects that fall within the Wikimedia Foundation
family such as Wikipedia <http://www.wikipedia.org/>,
Wikidata <http://www.wikidata.org/>, and Wikinews
<http://www.wikinews.org/>to name a few.
In 2013, we have done the following:
- Successfully hosted another Wiki Loves
- Launched and implemented the Joburgpedia
<http://joburgpedia.co.za/>project (modelled on
- Appointed our very own full time administrator
Some other highlights for Wikimedia ZA and the Wiki community in 2013
- Attended the international Chapters meet-up in Germany
- Attended Wikimania
- Cape Town Wiki meet-up and welcoming Victor
Music from the Wikimedia Foundation to document Sinenjongo
High School's <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinenjongo_High_School> (in
Cape Town) efforts to get free
- Attended and
late Nelson Mandela’s memorial ceremony
Some things planned for 2014:
- Bidding for Cape Town to host Wikimania in 2015
- Hosting WikiIndaba (Africa’s Wikimania)
- Launching a Cape Town version of Joburgpedia in 2014/2015
- Hosting another Wiki Loves Monuments completion and possibly expanding
on the concept by introducing another ‘Wiki Loves’ photographic competition.
- Cape Town Wiki-meetup in February
*Wiki Loves Monuments South Africa 2013*
The Wiki Loves Monuments competition in South Africa ended off on a high
note with the Award Ceremony on Saturday, 23 November 2013 at the Premier
Hotel in Midrand. A total of 89 participants entered this year with a
total submission of 6,432 photographs. This is a fantastic increase from
the 1,858 submitted last year and exceeded our target for 2013 of 5,000
photographs by 22%!
*Title of Work*
Arthur Nathan <http://wikimedia.org.za/wiki/File:Arthur_Nathan.jpg>
Leandri van Heerden
1 677 Photographs
Best Picture of a proposed monument
Port Elizabeth Cape Receife
Suzi-k (Sue Hoppe)
The winning photographs from South Africa as well as other parts of the
world can be viewed
*Wiki Loves Monuments 2014*
For the 2014 Wiki Loves Monuments we plan to focus less on the quantity of
images submitted and rather focus on increasing the number participants and
quality of submitted photographs. We will still encourage people to submit
any and all photographs they might wish to submit of monuments (both
registered and proposed) but we will also seek to better inform people
outside of the Wiki-movement about this competition. New audiences of
particular focus to us in 2014 are photographers (both professional and
hobbyists) and students (particularly college and university students).
Our newest competition partner, Orms, has very strong links with the
photographic community in South Africa and has agreed to lend their support
in helping to publicise this event. So far we have also connected with a
few teachers at universities and colleges about building in Wiki Loves
Monuments into their courses and informing their students of the event. We
also want to connect with photographic societies both at institutions of
learning as well as ones dedicated to hobbyists and professionals.
One of the most valuable things we have managed to get over the past two
Wiki Loves Monuments competitions is a mailing list of media,
organisational, and professional contacts which we can use to inform the
general public of this event. It is a resource that we look forward to
expanding on and using again in the future.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in supporting Wiki Loves
Monuments in 2014 please do not hesitate to let us know at
Joburgpedia is a success story that showcases Wikimedia South Africa's
efforts to work together with local organisations and government. With the
support the City of Johannesburg, the Joburgpedia project was designed to
increase exposure of iconic historical sites in the city.
Joburgpedia was initially launched as a pilot project, covering twelve
strategic sites, with plans to expand next year. Coverage of these sites
has seen an increase on Wikipedia articles edited in indigenous languages,
particularly in the case of the Gandhi House in Orchards, showing the
immense potential this kind of project can have, both in terms of increase
coverage of our heritage, but also in providing content in African
project installed, hight quality, durable Quick Response code (QR)
tiles next to the blue historical plaques installed by the City of
Johannesburg. When a user scans the code with a smartphone, the Wikipedia
article related to the heritage site is displayed in the language the phone
is set to.
Open Society Foundation for South Africa – First Full Time Employee
The single largest limiting factor facing the chapter prior to 1 December
2013 was a lack of time and organisational capacity within the existing
Wikimedia ZA organisation to effectually implement all of the projects that
the chapter would like to activate.
An application was made to the Open Society Foundation for South Africa to
fund one full time employee to form the nucleus of an organised, focused,
effective and more professionalised chapter that will deepen Wikimedia ZA's
capabilities to fulfil its objectives and obligations to local Wikimedians.
After much review, introspection, analysis, and discussion Theresa Hume has
been appointed as Administrator as from 1 December 2013. Theresa has over
17 years’ experience in both logistical and administration activities that
we are looking for to move the chapter forward.
On 5 December 2013 former president and father of the modern South African
nation Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away. This sad but deeply important
occasion was of global significance and of particular importance to South
Africa. In order to properly record this event, Wikimedia ZA decided to
send two Wikimedians to cover the event for the greater Wiki-community.
On the 9th, 10th and the 11th of December 2013 Wikimedia ZA sent two team
members to cover the 10 day mourning period for former president Mandela in
Gauteng. Our two Wikimedia correspondents got together in Johannesburg to
apply for press cards, and then went on to apply for the media
accreditation required to attend proceedings.
On the 10th the team attended the memorial held at FNB Stadium in Soweto
(Soccer City) along with thousands of others attending the service.
Unfortunately only selected media houses were able to capture diplomats and
VIP guests, but the team was able to capture many photographs of groups and
individuals attending the ceremony. We also made a recording to try and
capture the spirit in the stadium.
The Wikiteam joined international and local media houses at the Union
Buildings in Pretoria to witness the ‘lying in state’ period. However a
spokesperson for the presidency advised that only a pre-selected list of
media would be granted access to the auditorium where the body was held. We
were later granted access with the general public but no cameras or
recording devices were allowed. Considering that a pre-determined
attendance list was already in place, the team decided it would not be
beneficial to cover the proceedings at Qunu.
Photographs of these days can be found on Commons in the category: Death
and state funeral of Nelson
In addition to taking photographs of the event we also:
- Published an
on Wikinews <https://en.wikinews.org/>
- Recorded two video reports for Wikinews
o Interview with Jackson
o Clement Khanye reporting from Union
- We contributed content to the Wikipedia page on the Death and state
funeral of Nelson
Planned projects for 2014 Wikimania 2015Wikimedia ZA is bidding to host
Wikimania 2015 in Cape Town. Find out more at
The envisioned theme can be summarized as one of *bridging divides*. In
many ways the diverse (ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse)
yet divided communities that make up Cape
provide a microcosm of the divides that the Wikimedia community is
striving to overcome on an international level in an effort to make the
'sum total of human knowledge accessible to everyone everywhere for free'
one step closer to becoming a possibility. The will and desire to bridge
these divides, both in Cape Town (and South Africa at large) as well as
within the Wiki-community is there; bridging and expanding on this
This vision can be divided into three key objectives:
- Bridging the divide between the Northern Hemisphere where the event
has always been held (Cape Town would be the first time Wikimania has been
held in the Southern Hemisphere).
- Bridging the divide between the developed Global North (where Wiki
projects most notably Wikipedia are best established and represented) with
the less developed Global South (Africa in particular).
- Bridging the divide between the haves (who have both material wealth
and knowledge) with the have nots (who have neither material wealth nor
adequate access to knowledge).
Find out more at: http://wikiindaba.net/
Access to mobile devices is on the increase in Africa and is expected to
intensify in the next few years, increasing Africa's on-line presence. In
order to take advantage of this projected growth, it is therefore important
to establish and strengthen Wikipedia and Wikimedia structures in Africa.
The establishment of Wikimedia regional co-operations in regions such as
Latin America, India and Asia, has supported the progressive and systematic
growth of awareness and coverage of Wikipedia in these regions. This
conference is the first step towards the establishment of African
co-operative structures and organs made up of Wikimedia Chapters,
Wikimedians and mission aligned Thematic Organizations.
The aim of this project is to facilitate co-operation and forge links among
African Wikimedia Chapters and Thematic groups through direct meetings and
dialogue. This will also assist in increasing Wikipedia coverage and
footprint in Africa. This is the first regional conference to be held by
and for African chapters in Africa, the region of the world with the lowest
Best regards and wishes for 2014,
Wikimedia ZA team.