This report outlines and summarises the activities that Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) has conducted from July 2020 to June 2021. This period covers the 2020/21 simple annual grant period awarded to WMZA by the Wikimedia Foundation. The year 2020 and 2021 was an unusual time for WMZA. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting nation wide (to some extent world wide) lockdown prevented the chapter from engaging in any face-to-face activities. Since many of the largest budget requests and line items in the 2019/20 grant were for events that have been canceled due to the pandemic it is highly unlikely that these funds will be spent in this financial year. We however are following the South African government's protocol which has in recent month eased the lock down restriction from level 5 to level 2, meaning that there's a possibility that we could resume with organising hybrid events which may require resouces catered for in person events.
- See also: Wikimedia ZA WMF 2020 grant
Midpoint report Edit
This section covers the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. This is the first half of the 2020/21 grant period.
General Outreach Edit
Online community meetups Edit
Following on from the first half of 2020 online community meetups, hosted by WMZA, continued to be held for the South African Wikipedia community. Meetings were held in July, August and September but were replaced in November by the AGM whilst no meetups were held in October and December.
Edit Your Pride Iziko 2020 Edit
- Dashboard: Edit your Pride
- See also: Edit Your Pride
- WMZA Event volunteers: Bobbyshabangu, Kantiyini
On 17 October 2020 Wikimedia South Africa co-hosted the Edit-Your-Pride event with the Iziko Museums system. The focus of the project was to address issues relating to the editorial representation of queer artists and cultural practitioners working on the African continent. The first event of this initiative was a virtual edit-a-thon event hosted by the Iziko South African National Gallery in celebration of LGBTQIA+ Pride month 2020. This virtual edit-a-thon joined the existing global initiatives which engage with the under-representation of queer artists and cultural practitioners on Wikipedia and encourage editorship for African queer communities. A number of existing and new Wikipedian joined the event, where we learnt about editing Wikipedia, and collectively edited existing pages and created new articles for those working in the queer community. This initiative is ongoing, please feel free to join us in addressing these issues by creating or editing Wikipedia articles about queer artists, cultural producers, and organisations.
The Share Your Narrative with Global Shapers KZN hub was hosted on 14 November 2020. The event sought to increase African content on Wikipedia by focusing on themes that celebrate the African heritage as well as notable Africans. The University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Global Shapers KZN hub were the event host partners . Only one event was held in 2020 with another event expected to be held in 2022.
Hack Your Culture Edit
The Hack Your Culture conference was held in partnership with the Goethe Institute in South Africa. Wikimedia South Africa ran an edit workshop in support of the event. This is an event that brings together GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) and creative minds and tech enthusiasts to collabote and innovatate deriving from open cultural data. Bobbyshabangu, Michaelgraaf participated in the conference and did a presentation.
African language support Edit
The main event during the first half of this period was the Afocuration event described below.
Afrocuration December 2020 Edit
In December 2020 WMZA worked with the newly formed Dagbani Wikimedians User Group and the Moleskine Foundation to host the second Afrocuration event in December 2020. Afocruation was a 5-day editing competition focusing on COVID-19 related content that from December 7th to December 18th, with a training event taking place the Saturday beforehand. Content was added in multiple African languages. Dashboard statistics collected on 7 February 2021 show that the project had the following impact:
|Pages Created||Pages Edited||Total Edits||Editors||Bytes Added||Article Views||Commons Uploads|
WMZA administrative maturity Edit
- See also: WMZA 2020 Staffing Plan
In the first half of the 2020/21 period WMZA began the process of filling the administrator position for the chapter. This process took longer than expected. Partly because of COVID-19 related delays and partly due to forming the hiring committee and finalising position review metrics. The position of sole proprietor to fill this important administrative function for the chapter was posted on 25 October 2020 with applications closing in mid-December 2020. Applications were reviewed in December 2020 and January 2021 with the first interviews being completed in late January 2021.
The hiring process was completed in March 2021 and the chapter welcomed onboard Shupai Muchuchu as its new chapter administrator. Shupai had to take medical leave in May 2021 but we were happy to welcome her back in July 2021.
Annual General Meeting Edit
For the first time WMZA hosted its Annual General Meeting for 2020 entirely online. This was due to the COVID-19 related lockdown and social isolation requirements within South Africa and requested by the Wikimedia Foundation. Although interpersonal interaction was missed by many attendees there were some noticeable benefits to this approach. Most notable of which was its normalisation of attending such events digitally. Although the chapter has made attending the AGME remotely an option for a number of years now, those attending remotely were at a communications disadvantage when compared to those attending in person. With all attendees attending remotely this was no longer a problem. Given South Africa's large geographic size and the fact that some of our members are not resident in South Africa remote attendance seems like a good meeting solution for the chapter provided we have appropriate tools to make ordered meetings of this size possible. To this end WMZA purchased a Zoom account to help facilitate such meetings.
R400 in donations/membership dues were collected in this period. It is important to mention that the chapter's membership dues is an annual donation of any amount to the chapter. This allows for members without means to join whilst also allowing members with means to make a more sizable contribution should they feel inclined to do so.
|Puku Primary school project||R429.90|
|Banking and postal costs||R2,031.74|
|Amount of grant funding remaining as of 31/12/2020||R 461,998.63|
|Chapter funds remaining as of 31/12/2020||R 1,360.63|
Final report (second half of FY2020/21) Edit
This is section covers Wikimedia South Africa's activities in the final half of the 2020/21 year from January 2021 to the end of June 2021. It is meant to be read in conjunction with the mid-term report (see above) which covers chapter activities in the first half of the 2020/21 year thereby producing a full record of all chapter activities from July 2020 to June 2021.
The 2020/2021 year was a difficult one for Wikimedia South Africa due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic severely disrupted most of the events and activities that the chapter had planned to conduct. One example of this was the necessity to scrap the awarding of the Wikimania 2020 scholarships as was cancelled in responce to the pandemic.
However some notable achievements were made as follows;
- In spite of the COVID-19 induced challenges we were still able to host multiple events that supported the growth of the Wikipedia/Wikimedia community in South Africa.
- Community meetups continued and become more accessible to people regardless of geographic location by moving online.
- Through the efforts of Afrikaans Wikipedia's volunteer community their language Wiki grew the number of articles and now expects to reach their goal of having 100,000 articles by the time of that Wiki's 20th birthday in November 2021.
The chapter is also happy to welcome our first employee and administrative assistance since 2015. The administrative assistant (Shupai Muchuchu) started working for the chapter at the start of March 2021 and we are delighted to have her onboard. Her presence will greatly increase the operating capacity of the chapter in the near and distant future as it will reduce pressure on the volunteers who previously had to perform all of the chapter's administrative needs thereby reducing the amount of time chapter volunteers could spend on running and participating in projects.
Challenges however remain and they include;
- Greater effort needs to be made to better serve the existing editing community in South Africa.
- Small African languages (other than Afrikaans) are still in incubation and are without a sustainable community of volunteer editors.
- The Copyright Reform bill that will make editing easier by granting Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use still has not been gazetted into law.
- Greater technical support needs to be given to South African language Wikipedias to help them grow and fight vandalism.
- Finally colloquial observations suggests that public awareness of how Wikipedia works and the need for more volunteer editors continues to be low.
The chapter continued with its strategy of supporting community growth in the country through awareness and public outreach activities whilst trying to strengthen the existing editing community through community support activities. Below lists the different activities conducted by the chapter in the final half of our financial year.
General Outreach Edit
Wikipedia 20 Edit
January 15, 2021 was the 20th anniversary of the launch of Wikipedia. Wikimedia South Africa organised a number of events to celebrate the occasion and use this event as an opportunity to increase awareness of Wikipedia and how it works. News of the event was featured in at least 12 media publications and 3 presentations were given about Wikipedia in the context of the 20th anniversary. This included a public presentation to the Cape Town Press Club which can be viewed on YouTube here. It also included a birthday celebration organised for the local Wikimedia community in South Africa and hosted over Zoom.
Digify Africa Edit workshop Writing Contest Edit
This is an ongoing project that seeks to encourage new editors to create Wikipedia articles about South African content. The activities comprise of translating existing content from the English Wikipedia to small language South African Wikipedias. Prizes in a form of vouchers were given to the strongest participants in the workshop.
Wessen Wissen Writing Contest Edit
- See also: Wessen Wissen
- Dashboard: Wessen Wissen Writing Contest
- WMZA Event organiser: Bobbyshabangu
Done in collaboration with the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg this event was inspired by the Decolonize the Internet Project and it sought to stimulate the conversation on the lack of African content and the way it is covered on the internet, activate users of small language Wikipedias and improve coverage of African issues on Wikipedia and the internet.
Global Week Editathon on SDGs Edit
During Global Goals Week (19-26 Sept 2020) we joined forces with other Wikimedians around the world to edit articles about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their related thematic content pages. The aim was to improve content on Wikipedia related to the SDGs and to increase awareness about these global goals, with the focus on readability, quality sources, images, good lead sections, and wikilinks.
African language support Edit
Global Shapers writing contest Edit
- See also: Global Shapers: Share Your Narrative Writing Competition
- WMZA Event organiser: Bobbyshabangu and EMsmile
The aim to increase African content on Wikipedia by focusing on themes that celebrate the African heritage as well as notable Africans who may not have coverage on Wikipedia. It addresses the shortage of African languages on Wikipedia by translating articles about African topics already available on the English Wikipedia to small language Wikipedias. increase the number of active Wikipedians, especially African females who will continue to edit after the project comes to an end. Create awareness about the death of African content on Wikipedia.
The Afrikaans Wikipedia July 2020 - June 2021: update Edit
- WMZA point person: Oesjaar
The Afrikaans Wiki really grew over the past financial year. It started with just over 91,000 articles in June 2020 and finished with almost 99,000 articles by the end of June 2021- a growth of 8,000 articles! The lockdown undoubtedly added to this growth as the users had lots of spare time! The main focus area was fynbos with approximately 2000 articles created. Articles that covered the provincial and regional routes were also created; in total 228 routes were created. We have also started to create articles about the SA Navy, this is still ongoing. These projects and some other smaller ones gave the Afrikaans Wikipedia a real South African flavor! The Germination writing competition over Dec/Jan drew 8 participants. The competition requirement was to add 5 k of content to any stub of your choice. The competition yielded 110 articles that grew with a minimum of 5k, total growth was 550 k of content. The competition was won by Sobaka
Notable users that added lots of articles during this period:
Getting young users to register and add content is still a big challenge.
Community support Edit
Online community meetups, hosted by Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA), continued to be held for the South African Wikipedia community. The following online meetups where held throught out 2020/21 period:
- South Africa meetup 11 - 28 August 2021
- South Africa meetup 10 - 31 July 2021
- South Africa meetup 9 - 26 June 2021
- South Africa meetup 8 - 29 May 2021
- South Africa meetup 7 - 24 April 2021
- South Africa meetup 6 - 31 October 2020
- South Africa meetup 5 - 26 September 2020
- South Africa meetup 4 - 15 August 2020
- South Africa meetup 3 - 25 July 2020
In addition a hybrid Wikimedia South Africa meetup was held in person and online by members in the Gauteng area on 13 June 2021.
Copyright advocacy Edit
Douglas continued his volunteer advocacy work of making Wikipedia editing in South Africa a little bit easier by getting Freedom of Panorama and Fair Use incorporated into South African law via the adoption of the Copyright Amendment bill. Having Freedom of Panorama is helpful for Wikipedia editors as it would allow for the uploading of pictures of public works (like the exteriors of building, public monuments, street art, ect) to be uploaded onto commons and used across multiple Wikies to illustrate articles. Fair Use would make it easier for South African editors to understand local copyright law by harmonising it with the Fair Use principles that the Wikipedia community is already familiar with. Little progress was made this year as the bill continues to sit on the president's desk despite being passed by parliament. A second round of public hearing were held in 2021 by parliament that WMZA made submissions to and tracked. To learn more about the copyright advocacy adventure and its currents status please see Wikimedia South Africa/Copyright Amendment Bill.
It is important to note that all advocacy work is done on an entirely unpaid volunteer basis with no funding support for this coming from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation does support our mission here and has at times provided advice, guidance and public support.
Financial report Edit
Below is a summary of the final financial report for the 2020/21 year for Wikimedia South Africa.
|Item||Budgeted for 2020/21
|Spent in 2020/21
|Public Awareness||5 000||0|
|Research Grant||5 000||5 000|
|Wikipedia Bookshelf||5 000||955|
|Event prizes||15 000||0|
|African language writing competition||10 000||5 000|
|Wikimania 2021 scholarships||48 500||0|
|Operating costs||5 000||7 216.19|
|Board expenses (AGM hosting)||30 000||0|
|Accountancy||30 000||26 628.65|
|Banking fees||7 000||3 458.88|
|Bookkeeper||35 000||30 377.49|
|Administrator||69 120||30 200|
|Total||229 120||192 441.24|
|Foundation account||Chapter account||Total|
|Income||380 240.00||10 580.24||390 820.24|
|Expenses||190 263.27||2 177.97||192 441.24|