Grants:PEG/WM ZA/joburgpedia-2014/Report

Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2013-14 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Compliance and Completion

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Is your project completed?
Did you use any of the grant funds?

Focus of Project


Following the success of Monmouthpedia, the Joburgpedia project was conceptualized in 2012, with the first phase initiated in 2013. The aim of this project is to increase African content, and raise participation of indigenous/small Wikipedia languages by way of increasing Wikipedia coverage of iconic buildings in and around Johannesburg, with historic and heritage significance. This was done through different initiatives and mediums which encouraged citizens of the greater Johannesburg to contribute content about selected heritage sites in a Wikipedia project of their choice.

The official launch of the second phase of the Joburgpedia project took place at the Constitution Hill on 10 May 2014 and ran until 30th September 2014. Building from 2013, the aim of the project focused on outreach activities and forming partnerships with GLAM and mission aligned institutions.

Project Scope and Activities

Joburgpedia plaque next to CoJ Blue plaque (Mahatma Gandhi House)

This project brings together the success of the QR cream plaques with the intrinsic historical value of Blue plaques. Blue plaques are used to commemorate significant sites, and to sensitize people about a site and its history. It is estimated that there are about 150 to 200 blue plaques in and around Johannesburg.

In a bid to create the first MetropediA in Africa we have, through the Joburgpedia pilot project, strategically installed cream plaques with QR codes next to the City of Johannesburg's Blue plaques. The public can scan the code and be directed to a Wikipedia page of that particular site. With the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) being one of our partners, we are looking to continue installing more cream plaques in future (possibly incorporating the 2 into a single plaque). We envisage this happening between the years 2013 through to 2015. Below is a list of sites where we have installed our QR cream plaques:

  1. Satyagraha House (Gandhi House), Orchards
  2. Rahima Moosa House, New Clare
  3. The Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Joubert Park
  4. Friedenskirche German Lutheran Church, Hillbrow
  5. Fordsburg Square (1922 Rand Revolt Battle Site)
  6. David Webster House, Troyville
  7. The Desmond Tutu House, Orlando West, Soweto
  8. Orlando Stadium, Orlando East, Soweto
  9. Orlando East public Library, Soweto
  10. James Mpanza House, Orlando East, Soweto
  11. Meadowlands High School (June 16 Site), Soweto

Although our efforts to revisit some of these sites for the 2014 project proved unsuccessful, we saw it necessary to rethink our strategy by approaching other heritage centers. With the help of our partners we were able to secure additional sites as detailed below.

  1. Constitution Hill Education Project
  2. Sophiatown Heritage and Cultural Centre
  3. Fiestas Museum



We are very excited to have formed partnerships with the following institutions who pledged their support for Joburgpedia 2014.

  • Johannesburg Heritage Foundation
  • The Constitution Hill Education Project
  • The City of Joburg
  • The Heritage Portal

These partnerships presented us with the opportunity to capture important historical information related to Johannesburg. We foresee these partnerships strengthening in future, particularly with regards to the different educational programs these institutions are running. These have exposed us to more volunteers who have been introduced to Wikipedia, and whom we believe will continue to contribute to Wikipedia.

The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) in particular was one of the foremost pillars and a GLAM institution that most of our work was based upon. Their archives include history, maps, plans and publications of most of the buildings in and around Johannesburg. Over the years the JHF have managed to save a number of buildings with historical and heritage importance in Johannesburg from demolition. There are a lot of documents from JHF that we were able to digitize and save to Creative Commons in order to be used in Joburgpedia and other Wikipedia projects. With our continued relationship with the JHF, articles were being created on weekly basis, and below are links to some of the Wikipedia articles created thus far:

 · Radoma House  · Pullinger Kop  · Donald Mackay Park  · Corona Lodge  · House Brunton  · Standard Bank Centre
 · Chassidim Shul  · Yeoville Water Tower  · Berea Fire Station  · House Hains  · Beacon Royal  · Standard Bank Building
 · Cathedral of Christ The King  · Rand Water Board Building  · Manners Mansions  · Kirchoff's Building  · Markham Building  · Consolidated Building
 · Kimberly House  · Arop House  · Astor Mansions  · Cuthberts Building  · Johannesburg Trades Hall  · Ansteys Building
 · Johannesburg City Hall  · Kerk Street Mosque  · Natal Bank Building  · Rand Club Building  · London House  · Johannesburg City Library
 · Chamber of Mines Building  · National Bank Building  · Victory House  · Fietas Museum  · Parktown Convent  · St Aidan's Anglican Church

Measures of Success


The following are Measures of Success that were achieved for this project:

  • We were able to create new articles and significantly increase the number of quality articles about heritage sites in and around Johannesburg on English Wikipedia by over 20 articles.
  • We created new articles and translated articles about heritage sites in and around Johannesburg on small South African language Wikipedias.
  • We were able to encourage additional local Wikimedians to join the Wikimedia ZA chapter and get involved in this outreach project. There are 2 who joined.
  • Activated City of Johannesburg and The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation to donate low resolution media files on selected heritage site onto Commons under free license.
  • Digitized Historical archives to illustrate Wikipedia articles. Over 250 historical photos and documents were stored under Category:Joburgpedia
  • Activated Johannesburg heritage enthusiasts to contribute onto Wikipedia projects, especially small languages Wikipedias.
  • We had over 500 edits of new articles and translation combined across language projects.
  • During our edit-a-thons we were able to activate users who contributed in a number of local language wikis.



A total of 5 edit-a-thons were held over a period of 5 months.

Event 1 - Concourt : Constitution Hill Education Project

Concourt Launch
Edit-a-Thon - Satyagraha 2014
Edit-a-Thon - Fietas Museum 2014
final Edit-a-Thon at the ConHill

Joburgpedia 2014 was launched at the Constitution Hill Education Project (ConHillEdu) on Saturday, 10 May 2014. Introductory training on contributing to Wikipedia was offered to ConHillEdu volunteers who will be working to update articles related to the Wikipedia and work of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

At this event, we also launched the Joburgpedia Writing Contest and the first ever Wikipedian in Residence position in South Africa.

Event 2 - Sophiatown Heritage and Cultural Centre

This event took place on Saturday, 7 June 2014. Despite marketing the event through word of mouth and our Facebook media platform in time, there was poor attendance. This was due to invitees cancelling at the last minute due to urgent commitments that developed. The highlight though were the female invitees who edited in Siswati and Chishona.

Event 3 - Satyagraha House

This event took place on Saturday, 26 July. Satyagraha house is one of the success stories of the Joburgpedia project. This is where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1908 and 1909. The edit-a-thon consisted of people speaking different African languages that stretched from the Nigerian Igbo Language, to Chishona from Zimbabwe, to South African Languages that included Afrikaans, Xhosa, SiSwati, Xitsonga, Zulu and Sotho. The house is a historical heritage site and a museum. Our continued relationship with management has allowed us to continue having edit-a-thons at this venue, despite the always fully booked guesthouse adjacent to the museum.

Event 4 - Fietas Museum

This event took place on Saturday, 30 August 2014. Although invitations were send out timeously through word of mouth and social media platforms Facebook and Google Plus attendance was poor with invitees having difficulty finding the venue, and partly because most were University students and were preparing for exams at the time.

Event 5 - Concourt

The final Joburgpedia edit-a-thon was held at the Constitutional Court Auditorium, returning to the venue where we kicked off the project in May. Participants who attended all the previous events were personally invited to join this final event. Almost all the South African 11 official languages were represented. We initially had issues with internet connectivity, but we would consider the event a success.

Follow Up Visits


As part of working with the GLAM (Gallaries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) institutions, we saw the importance of building and maintaining a relationship with The Orlando East Library, which is the first public library in Soweto. This is where one of our QR code plaques are installed which directs visitors to the Wikipedia page of the library.

We plan to have more future edit-a-thons on this site to expand our editing communities and attract more editors especially in small local languages. The amazing part about this project is the link between the places we go to, and the articles we create. As mentioned above we had an edit-a-thon at the A.B Xuma's house. Xuma was well read, a scholar and the first black medical doctor in South Africa. He had a huge book collection which was donated to the Orlando East Library by his wife Madie Hall in 1963, a year after Xuma's death.

In 2013 we had an edit-a-thon and installed a cream plaque next to the blue plaque at Meadowlands High School. When we returned back, we discovered that there was a new school principal who fenced both the blue and cream plaque in an effort to protect them from the students. We explained the purpose of the plaques to the principal and explain that everyone can scan the plaque using their cellphones and be directed to a Wikipedia page about the school's history.

It was agreed that the fence be removed and we will be returning back to the school for an edit-a-thon.

Writing Contest


The Writing Contest was aimed at individuals and schools as a way of introducing them to Wikipedia. A cash prize of R 5 000.00 was offered for the best article in terms of quality and completeness. Participants had the option of submitting an article in English, or a local language of their choice.

The competition ran for a period of 2 months from 1 June to 31 July 2014, and was open to residents and schools in Gauteng.

Participants were given a guideline on how to write the article.

The quality of the article had to conform to Class B and above with the following minimum requirements:

  • - The article must be suitable referenced with inline citations where necessary
  • - The article reasonably covers the topic and does not contain omissions or inaccuracies
  • - The article has a defined structure
  • - The article is reasonably well-written
  • - The article contains supporting materials where appropriate
  • - The article presents its content in an appropriately understandable way

We lined up 4 judges to work through the submitted articles and select a winner from the entries.

Merle Ruff - A Librarian and IT Consultant who worked at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation and the library of Times Media
James Ball - Founder of The Heritage Portal and administrator of the Blue Plaques of South Africa
Ian Gilfillan - Director of the Ethical Co-Op and writer for the MariaDB Foundation. Ian is also an active Wikipedia editor with 9 462 edits in 36 projects.
Eric Itzkin - Deputy Director of Immovable Heritage at The City Of Johannesburg

A Press Release was sent to various institutions. A copy of this release can be viewed here.

We received a list of schools from the Department of Education and sent a press release to 490 Secondary Schools in the Gauteng Area. Through our contacts at The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) - a GLAM partner - we were able to distribute this information to all the libraries in the Gauteng area as well.

Despite all this advertising, we only received 1 entry.

Due to the lack of interest, we decided to cancel the competition for this year. For his contribution, we awarded Mandla (our only entry) with a R 250.00 gift voucher from Kalahari to thank him for participating in the competition.

We need to rethink our strategy for launching a similar competition in 2015. One of the ideas is to move Joburgpedia 2015 to earlier in the year.

Wikipedian in Residence

Wikipedian in Residence 2014

One of the outcomes from Joburgpedia-Pilot project was to approach a number of institutions willing to donate historical photographs of Johannesburg. For this purpose, we advertised the position of Wikipedian in Residence.

The core characteristics required for applicants were as follows :

- Proven track record of editing Wikipedia
- Promoting participation in new or existing WikiProjects
- Assisting with the digitisation and online posting of archival materials
- Working with host staff to explain Wikipedia practices
- Organising special events that facilitate the promotion of the project
- Sharing experiences with the greater Wikipedian community

A copy of the Advertisement can be viewed online.

Initially it was envisaged that the Wikipedian in residence will work with two institutions :

  • Museum Africa in conjunction with University of Witwatersrand
  • The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation in conjunction with The Heritage Portal

Unfortunately we were only able to place a Wikipedian in Residence at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation.

Initial discussions with Museum Africa indicated that they were very excited about the opportunity to digitise their documents. They stated that 'should the project succeed, Wikipedia would never be the same'.

When the advertisement for the position was sent around to our mailing list and other stakeholders, the Manager of Collections however requested that we remove Museum Africa from the advertisement as a Host Institution. They cited the copyright of images as a reason, stating that they had not agreed to this in writing. Our attempts to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues were unsuccessful. We were informed that the City of Johannesburg requires a 'lot of bureaucracy around projects' and we decided to proceed with the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation only.

WMZA received a total of 11 applications for the position and two candidates were short listed according to the criteria stated above.

Bobby Shabangu - A director of WMZA
Adam Golding - A volunteer at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

On 15 May 2014, WMZA presented the two candidates to the WMF and requested an amendment to the grant proposal to appoint both candidates on a part time basis. This was approved.

We offered the position to both candidates. Adam Golding declined our offer due to financial reasons. Bobby Shabangu accepted our offer and started working at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation on 2 June 2014. The position was valid for a period of 4 months and automatically terminated on 30 September 2014. Working hours were established at 24 hours per week (3 days per week).

Contributions by Volunteers


Our advertising campaign proved very successful in attracting heritage enthusiasts to the project. We have been in contact with an earlier resident of Johannesburg and he has been able provide us with very valuable information in terms of the history of various buildings. Through this contact, we have been able to address various issue regarding plaque installations and specific history pertaining to specific sites.

Our Wiki Loves Monuments competition has also put us in touch with Johannesburg residents who are passionate about preserving heritage. They are very keen to get involved in the Joburgpedia project. They will be contributing photographs to Commons and assist with writing articles on Wikipedia.



We had a couple of radio and TV interviews with the interest being around the Joburgpedia project's ability to incorporate the built environment in the form of the QR cream plaques with an online encyclopedia "Wikipedia".

A number of marketing strategies were used in marketing our Joburgpedia edit-a-thons, these included advertising through word of mouth, our Facebook page and distributing information through our partners e.g "The Heritage Portal".

The Writing Contest was advertised through various schools (as mentioned above) as well as leading publications in the Johannesburg and surrounding areas.



To advertise Joburgpedia more widely, we have designed a brochure which was handed out at events organised by WMZA, as well as events that we have been invited to.

A copy of this brochure can be viewed here

CBS Documentary

CBS News logo

The Joburgpedia team was interviewed by CBS News with Jove Oliver from New York.

This documentary focuses on Wikipedia and the projects we have in South Africa.

The following Joburgpedia project sites were visited during this interview.

  • The Constitutional Hill – A national heritage site and the highest court in South Africa. The ConHill witnessed a century of South Africas history.
  • Satyagraha House - Where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1908 and 1909. An edit-a-thon here consisted of people speaking different African languages - from the Nigerian Igbo Language, to Chishona from Zimbabwe, to South African languages that included Afrikaans, SiSwati, Xitsonga, Zulu and Sotho
  • The Orlando East Library – the first public library in Soweto.
  • Meadowlands High School – a school with a rich history in the liberation struggle and the June 16 uprising.
  • The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) – an archive institution and Joburgpedia partner where the WiR was based. their archives include the history, maps, plans and publications of most of the buildings in and around Johannesburg.

Lessons Learned

  • Advertise edit-a-thons more widely to student bodies (Universities).
  • Make the edit-a-thons longer.
  • Set up mobile units where we go to people.
  • We need to track the activities of the users we activated during edit-a-thons and follow-up/encourage them to keep on editing.
  • Edit-a-thons are open to everyone. However we have discovered that most of the participants are students, hence we have to check the schools/university's calender for exams before we set up an edit-a-thon.


Joburgpedia 2014 activity score card

Attached to this section is a project score card showing some key statistics and metrics. This project meets a number of mission targets for Wikimedia strategic plan (through 2015). They are outlined below:

Increasing reach


Increasing Wikimedia's reach in the Global South is one of the salient points of Vision 2015. South Africa is crucial to this objective, as a key African hub. This project has received a fair amount of attention in Johannesburg, and has presented with an opportunity to partner with two very important organisations.



When this project launched we were hoping to attract more participants. Unfortunately this was not the case but we believe that through our host institution and Concourt, we have been able to cement lasting relationships.



Wikimedia Commons still has a very poor representation of Johannesburg heritage sites. The available images are of moderate to acceptable quality. This project has assisted us to contribute historical photographs of Johannesburg heritage sites on commons and Wikipedia projects especially small languages.



The involvement of local authoritities, heritage societies as partners we will be able to improve our credibility as a chapter and movement in handling such important issues as heritage and historical sites documentation.


This project will benefit the following online communities
English Wikipedia
Afrikaans Wikipedia
Zulu Wikipedia
Xhosa Wikipedia
Sotho Wikipedia
Xitsonga Wikipedia
Setswana Wikipedia
SiSwati Wikipedia
ChiShona Wikipedia



Description Requested Funds (ZAR) Used Funds (ZAR) Used Funds (USD)
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 1 - Preliminaries and General
1.1 Telkom Costs 1 1 000.00 1 000.00 1 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1.2 Printed project T-Shirts and other printed matter 50 100.00 5 000.00 40 114.97 4 598.76 10.40 416.18
1.3 Press Kits 10 500.00 5 000.00 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1.4 Laptops to be used as demonstration stations 2 6 500.00 13 000.00 2 9 206.84 18 413.68 833.20 1 666.40
1.5 Digitisation 1 5 000.00 5 000.00 1 3 416.20 3 416.20 309.16 309.16
1.6 Incidental Costs & Contingencies 1 10 000.00 10 000.00 1 6 995.91 6 995.91 633.11 633.11
1.7 Project Management 1 11 800.00 11 800.00 1 11 800.00 11 800.00 1 067.88 1 067.88
1.8 Wikipedian in Residence 5 5 000.00 25 000.00 4 5 000.00 20 000.00 452.49 1 809.95
TOTAL BILL Number 1 75 800.00 65 224.55 5 902.69
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 2 - Edit-a-thon (Event 1)
2.1 Project Pamphlets 50 20.00 1 000.00 1 426.00 426.00 38.55 38.55
2.2 Catering 1 1 500.00 1 500.00 1 2 508.00 2 508.00 226.97 226.97
TOTAL BILL Number 2 2 500.00 2 934.00 265.52
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 3 - Edit-a-thon (Event 2)
3.1 Project Pamphlets 50 20.00 1 000.00 1 426.00 426.00 38.55 38.55
3.2 Catering 1 1 500.00 1 500.00 1 800.00 800.00 72.40 72.40
TOTAL BILL Number 3 2 500.00 1 226.00 110.95
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 4 - Edit-a-thon (Event 3)
4.1 Project Pamphlets 50 20.00 1 000.00 1 426.00 426.00 38.55 38.55
4.2 Catering 1 1 500.00 1 500.00 1 600.00 600.00 54.30 54.30
TOTAL BILL Number 4 2 500.00 1 026.00 92.85
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 5 - Edit-a-thon (Event 4)
5.1 Project Pamphlets 50 20.00 1 000.00 1 426.00 426.00 38.55 38.55
5.2 Catering 1 1 500.00 1 500.00 1 800.00 800.00 72.40 72.40
TOTAL BILL Number 5 2 500.00 1 226.00 110.95
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 6 - Edit-a-thon (Event 5)
6.1 Project Pamphlets 50 20.00 1 000.00 1 426.00 426.00 38.55 38.55
6.2 Catering 1 1 500.00 1 500.00 20 130.00 2 600.00 11.76 235.29
TOTAL BILL Number 6 2 500.00 3 026.00 273.85
Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Qty Rate Total (ZAR) Rate Total (USD) Notes
Bill No. 7 - Writing Contest
7.1 Advertising - Before and After the Event 1 5 000.00 5 000.00 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
7.2 Trophies and Memorabilia 1 3 500.00 3 500.00 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
7.3 Winning Prize 1 5 000.00 5 000.00 1 250.00 250.00 22.62 22.62
7.4 Catering 1 3 500.00 3 500.00 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
7.5 Judging Process 4 1 250.00 5 000.00 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
TOTAL BILL Number 7 22 000.00 250.00 22.62

Bills Subtotals

Description Requested Funds (ZAR) Used Funds (ZAR) Used Funds (USD)
PROJECT BILL OF QUANTITIES PRICE SUMMARY PAGE Total in Rands (ZAR) Total in Rands (ZAR) Total in Dollars (USD)
1 Bill No. 1: Preliminaries & General R 75 800.00 R 65 224.55 $ 5 902.69
2 Bill No. 2 - Edit-a-Thon (Event 1) R 2 500.00 R 2 934.00 $ 265.52
3 Bill No. 3 - Edit-A-Thon (Event 2) R 2 500.00 R 1 226.00 $ 110.95
4 Bill No. 4 - Edit-A-Thon (Event 3) R 2 500.00 R 1 026.00 $ 92.85
5 Bill No. 5 - Edit-A-Thon (Event 4) R 2 500.00 R 1 226.00 $ 110.95
6 Bill No. 6 - Edit-A-Thon (Event 5) R 2 500.00 R 3 026.00 $ 273.85
7 Bill No. 7 - Writing Contest R 22 000.00 R 250.00 $ 22.62
8 SUBTOTAL R 110 300.00 R 74 912.55 $ 6 779.42
9 VAT (14%) R 15 442.00 R Included $ Included
10 TOTAL BUDGET PRICE R 125 742.00 R 74 912.55 $ 6 779.42



Total project budget (from your approved grant submission):

ZAR 125 742.00 Or $ 11 379.37 rounded total.

Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if the WMF grant is your only funding source):

ZAR 125 742.00 Or $ 11 379.37 rounded total.

Total amount spent on this project (this total should be the total calculated from the table above):

ZAR 74 912.54 Or $ 6 779.42 rounded total.

Total amount of WMF grant funds spent on this project (this total will be the same as the total amount spent if the WMF grant is your only funding source):

ZAR 74 912.54 Or $ 6 779.42 rounded total.

Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project? List them here.


Remaining Funds


Are there any grant funds remaining?


Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)

ZAR 50 829.46 Or $ 4 600.02

Funds remaining

ZAR 50 829.46 Or $ 4 600.02

Remaining Funds

Funds to be returned to WMF To be applied to payment for the Administrator Bridging Funding grant. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:39, 3 December 2014 (UTC)



We expect to reach edittors especially in small language wikis through planned edit-a-thon events.

Provide a brief statement (about 1 paragraph) about how your project is related to other work in the Wikimedia movement.
This project is part of the International QRpedia movement which seeks to use QR tiles as a gateway into Wikipedia.
If successful, does your project have the potential to be replicated successfully by other individuals, groups, or organizations?
This project is being replicated around the world as part of QRpedia and other similar technologies.
Please list any other benefits that this project will produce.
For us as a small chapter, this project is crucial to sustaining our presence and relevance in the heritage sector as we seek to establish lasting ties with natural stake holders in this area.