Wikimedia South Africa/Operational Meeting 28 May 2024

WMZA Operational Meeting 28 May 2024

Previous Minutes:


  • Herschal Jackson (HJ)
  • Michael Graaf (MG)
  • Deon Steyn (DS)
  • Ingrid Thomson (IT)


  • Coenraad Loubser (CL)
  • Jan Hendrick Du Toit (JD)
  • Khethiwe Marais (KM)
  • Bobby Shabangu (BS)
  • Jeremiah Pieterson (JP)



General Updates

  1. Changes of Chapter accounts
  • (DS) confused by use of term accounts when detailing this Agenda item as he believes accounts relate to financial accounts which should be managed/presented by (DIS) who is not present on the call.
  • (HJ) apologises and clarifies use of term accounts is to align chapter accounts with chapter emails instead of personal emails.
  • (MG) confirms that for Ops meetings DIS is not required only for Board Meetings.
  • All parties agree to creation of proposed email addresses to initiate the chapter account alignment process.

Additional Etherpad questions post ops meeting with answers Creation of 3 new email groups

Q: Why not use 
A: This could be utilized however it is currently the single point of contact for all projects/subscriptions/queries directed at the chapter. Seperation of emails for socials/accounts would enable separation of duty/focus.  
Q: Discuss full lifecycle of the group/email 
A: With the exception of partnerships email address for WikiIndaba, the others would be permanent and would be utilized for the chapter for Socials/Accounts.
Q: Which project is it related to? 
A:With the exception of partnerships email address for WikiIndaba, the others would be permanent and would be utilized for the chapter for Socials/Accounts. 
Q: How long will the project last? 
A: WikiIndaba would last until end of 2024, the other accounts would be permanent
Q: How many members will there be? 
A: for Partnership WikiIndaba email address approximately 8 members. For the other 2 addresses possibly 4 per account. (2 Staff/2 Board Members)
Q: Will any members be outside of WMZA board? 
A: For WikiIndaba possibly volunteers and members of other countries participating in WikiIndaba planning. for the 2 other accounts only staff and WMZA Board/Members
Q: What criteria will decide when a member is no longer active? 
A: For WikiIndaba - When the conference is over the members would be removed and the account can be deactivated. For the others if the staff/member leaves the chapter they would be removed as part of the offboarding. 
Q: What valuable data will be collected in the group's emails? 
A: Would require a bit more clarity on the question but WikiIndaba would collect information around partnerships WikiIndaba team is working on creating. For the other 2 accounts - Social would have notification from social media accounts registered. Accounts would have notifications and particulars of registered accounts for the chapter for use in chapter activities.
Q: Who will be responsible for securing the information accumulated in the group? 
A: Initially the security would be handled by HJ and possibly a more technical Board member.
Q: Who will have access? 
A: Authorised members only. 
Q: For what purposes? 
A:Social email address would be used to link to chapter social media accounts (existing and new). Accounts would be used to link to chapter accounts. WikiInbaba Partnership will be used for partnership engagement purposes.
Q:When will the group be decommissioned? 
A: Social/Accounts will not be decommissioned as the idea is to utilize for Chapter Social media accounts and Chapter accounts. Partnership Address will be decommissioned after the Indaba. for Socials: 
Q: who should get emails to the group? 
A: Initially it would only be (HJ) with access but once Communications Intern is appointed they would also be provided access. Any additional members could also be added for mail forwarding. for accounts (IE- takealot/printing/etc) request from WikiIndaba for a partnership email address to be created.

  1. Subscriptions
  • General mail to Members around how subscription works. -
  • All Participants agreed this needs to be sent out.
  • (IT) mentioned that she does not believe the mailing list are working as she has not seen a mail in a long time.

Action Item - (HJ) to test mailing list.

Verification on the suspension of lifetime membership options

  • (HJ) explains agenda item and describes how it relates to engagement on new subscriptions as well verification with ops team that the Lifetime Membership is cancelled.
  • (MG) comments that lifetime members who have their subscription suspended shoud be advised that the Lifetime subscription is terminated and advised on options for renewal prior to suspension.
  • (HJ) clarifies that existing members with Lifetime memberships are not affected. Further clarifies that the agenda item is there for two reasons, to ensure alignment with ops team (On the suspension of Lifetime memberships and to generate discussion around the Lifetime Memberships option.
  • (IT) mentions she was not aware of the suspension and would have liked the option.

Notification mail to users on subscription thanking them for subscribing.

  • (HJ) advises this needs to be relooked at, not sure if mails are going to users on subscription or to notify that subscription is up for renewal.

Mailing List Admins

  • (HJ) mentioned that the he will engage with Coenrad to manage the Mailing List admins.

NYDA Kiwix Project (HJ)

  • (HJ) provided a update on meeting held with NYDA.
  • (HJ) advised that chapter had procured 20 Rasberry pi devices for use in Schools without Computer Labs.
  • (HJ) further explained that NYDA isolated 20 schools to run the Workshops in however needed to isolate which of the identified schools had computer labs and which did not.
  • (HJ) mentioned that (BS) advised NYDA representative that for the schools which did not have computer labs the Rasberry pi devices would be utilised. For the schools with Labs Wikimedia would install Kiwix and train users on how to use it.
  • (MG) requested clarity on whom if any members had been identified for the project.
  • (HJ) confirmed that no members had been isolated yet as the project had not yet initiated. Further to this he also eluded to the fact that 2 acitvities would be required. Installation of devices and normal workshop training.

SWiP Project Updates (BS&HJ)

Central University of Technology (Bloemfontein )Upcoming 19-20th June 2024
  • (HJ) updated on confirmed dates and verified that Primary Facilitator would be (BS) and Secondary Facilitator would be (MG)
  • (HJ) mentioned that travel is arranged for both facilitators but that accomodation is still required to be resolved.

Action Item - HJ to finalise Accomodation for (MG)

Sol Plaatjie University (Kimberley) Final Workshop 17-18 July 2024
  • (HJ) advised on final SWiP workshop which Primary Facilitator would be BS and Secondary Facilitator would be (IT)
  • (HJ) confirmed Travel and accomodation not yet arranged but confirmation received on 16 July 2024 to the 19th July for the travel period.
  • (IT) verified that leave had been applied for already for that period.

WikiIndaba Local Scholarship committee update (HJ)

  • (HJ) confirmed finalization of the Scholarship Meta page and successful post to Social media.
  • (HJ) advised on timelines for Committee. (Next milestone - 28 June 2024 Deadline for applications)

Wikimedia Flyer Design Presentation (2 Designs) (HJ)

  • (HJ) apologised for Link not being shared for translation. This was due to the Free version of Canva not allowing for folder sharing.
  • (HJ) advised 11 versions created for 2 designs.
  • (HJ) also advised on registering for NGO access (full access to canva)

Virtual Office Discussion

  • (HJ) Presented the options to participants also advised on options being emailed to all board members.
  • (MG) mentioned that JHB price was the best and should be selected, however mentioned that when Communications intern is appointed office space should be relooked at in the CPT area.
  • (MG) also mentioned that another potential vendor would be supplied.
  • All participants agreed on Vendor - Work Central in North Riding (Most cost effective)

YFM Partnership/Grynd Event Merchandise Quotes

  • (HJ) mentioned engagement from YFM regarding potential partnership with Wikimedia South Africa.
  • (HJ) explained invitation to participate in Grynd Event which required procurement of merchandise for gift bags.
  • All Participants approved the procurement of x2 banners (For Chapter replacement) and merchandise (Flyers and Pens)

(DS) Afrikaans Wikipedia Update:

  • (DS) Advised on Interview on 05th June 2024 with rapport which allows for national exposure for Afrikaans Wikipedia.
  • (DS) mentioned that on the 08th June 2024 he will be attending a discussion with the South African Teachers Union around lifecycle of Printer text books and the possiblity of using Wikipedia for repository for this knowledge.
  • (MG) mentioned that wikipedia has the functionality to make a number of articles into a book.
  • All Participants congratulated DS on this advocacy as work towards these relationships was ongoing for over 3 years.
  • (DS) advised that work on Fygies subject (over 1780 species of plant) was completed. all articles created with references and images (provided by a professor)
  • (DS) mentioned that in Namibia the primary schools as well as High Schools have requested assistance from Afrikaans Wikipedia around a solution to house text books
  • (MG) mentioned Kiwix is a possiblity for text books repository as well as it is accesible offline.

Meeting Adjourned


Agenda Items not discussed (To Be Presented in next Ops Meeting:

  • Merchandising Options - Pending Updated Quotes from HJ

Action Item - Herschal to email to the board to reflect on quotes. Action Item - Herschal to manage the merchandising and present the best offer.

  • Virtual Card Update (BS)

Option 3 Selected - Virtual Card (Bobby pending feedback from bank on creating a secondary card.) Next steps?

Next Operations Meeting


June 11 2024 7:00 pm