Wikimedia South Africa/Board Meeting/23 March 2021

Wikimedia ZA boad meeting 23 March 2021


  1. Digital Humanities Association of South Africa (DHASA)
  2. Namibia Copyright update
  3. 2021 grant application
  4. Wikimedia ZA banner ad
  5. Volunteer update
  6. Admin onboarding update


  • Douglas Scott
  • Deon Steyn
  • Bobby Shabangu
  • Wynand
  • Ingrid
  • Nobantu
  • Rossouw
  • Michael Graaf
  • Menno
  • Shupai



Meeting moves from Google to Jitsi due to technical issues.

DHCSA intorduction


Bobby gives a brief introduction to DHCSA and why and how we can work together. DHCSA has strong skills and abilities in language support. We might be able to work together to support African language Wikipedias.

Menno suggests we start with a tutorial on how to edit Wikipedia with their members at DHCSA and SADLR. Everyone is interested in getting their members to start contributing to local languages. DHCSA would love to see a collaboration with WMZA on language support. A conference is going to be held, and see what board members can do to assists Wikimedians in South Africa. The conference to be a big event with an academic presentation, tutorials and workshops. Share task to be organised. It was said it is still open for ideas to be suggested. The conference will be an online event that can be pre-recorded and shared on a letter stage. Wikipedia used to train languages models with language processing tools, but there is a lack of data. Tools are needed to help language communities.

Douglas supports this intative and volunteers to help run training for new editors. Bobby also volunteers to help train. Training will likely be done at a libraries conference (Digital Humanities Conference []).. A template to be created as a concept note, to share the workload when training and workshops begin. One member can do training and others can speak on Wikimedia policies and its guidelines.

The conference dates are planned for the 29th of November till the 3rd of December 2021 which usually takes a week. It was said at the last conference there was an editing session, which was run as a pre-conference workshop at the University of Pretoria. There were a lot of Librarians who attended the conference. All in all the conference is a growing conference and has the potential to reach more institutions.

Wynand asked if it is possible to do generic sessions with an introduction to Wikimedia editing, with a focus on focus groups?

Menno said there is a possibility of having focus groups at the conference.

Douglas suggested that training can be designed for the conference from members of Wikimedia.

DHCSA to rope in members when planning the conference programme.

A question was asked if DHCSA recognises Afrikaans as an indigenous language.

Deon leaves the meeting early.

Members of the board supported the collaboration with DHCSA.


Namibia is currently looking at updating its copyright laws. WMZA is working with the Namibia community (Rossouw) to help being assisted by Douglas, as Rossouw is the only Namibian member, with his permission to help.

WMZA needs to liaise with the Namibian government to make sure that the suggestion is handed in on time. Douglas to touch base with Denise. Douglas to help Roussow to create a concept note, for Namibian law. It was recommended that there share their documents, so other members can see where they can assist. Douglas to speak to all intended parties on the duplicating list.

Douglas gave a heads up on the South African Copyright which is not looking so good, there is a completed bill, which was passed around the houses of parliament and it is awaiting the President's signature. The copyright alliances are making efforts to have the bill scrapped. They want the bill to be redone. It looks like they are making headway with it. The minister of Economic Development is being influential on the bill because she fears they will be a negative economic impact on the bill.

It was suggested to have influential and fearless people and many voices talking about the South African Copyright bill and who is willing to challenge it.

2021 Grant Application


There will be a grant application meeting on the 9th of April 2021, from 10 am, the meeting is between Douglas and Shupai, but all other members are welcome to join the meeting. We are looking into starting the ball rolling on the grant application. It was emphasised that board members must think of all projects they want to have and what the projects will cost.