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Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014–15

This report describes the activities of Wikimedia South Africa during Fiscal Year 2014–15, covering the period from December 2014 through December 2015.


See also | Summary of Wikimedia ZA activities in 2015

A graphical summary of Wikimedia ZA activities for the 2015 period can be seen at the link above (see also) that was presented at WikiCon 2016 in Berlin.

In November 2014, the Wikimedia ZA Board of Directors held a strategy planning meeting and defined three strategic priorities for the organisation:

  • Professionalise and Diversify
  • Build Membership Base
  • Support the local editing community
  • Outreach

Professionalisation was put on hold due to the unsuccessful application of an Annual Grant in 2014/15. This has been reactivated somewhat with the planned application for a Small Annual Grant from the foundation to fund the employment of a few, part-time, key personal. Most importantly a book keeper to keep track of expenses. Service to the local editing community was enhanced through a better understanding of it through the survey conducted of the community in June/July 2015, this also resulted in an increase in the number of people resistered on the chapter's mailing list. Roughly 400 Wikipedia editors filled out the survey.

In November 2015 the chapter reviewed the strategy moving forward reiterated the need for enhancing diversity, engage in outreach activities, and increase general awareness of the chapter as well as Wikipedia editing.


Chapter activities 2015–16


Open Book Festival Edit-a-Thon 2014

See also | Open Book Festival Edit-a-Thon

On the 25th July 2014 and on the 5th and 20th September 2014 edit-a-thons were arranged in partnership with the organisers of the Open Book Festaval in Cape Town, South Africa. The objective of this event was to increase the number and quality of articles about South African authors whilst also raising awareness of editing Wikipedia amongst the general public.


Wikimedia ZA has hosted a number of Wikipedia Meetups over the 2015/16 period. The chapter considers the hosting of such meetups important both as fun social activities for editors but also as an important type of social outreach to encourage a greater sense of community engagement within the South African editing community. It also provides an open and welcoming environment for interested members of the non-editing public to join and engage with existing editors and so learn more about Wikipedia. Two meetups, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, were held on the 15th January to celebrate Wikipedia's 15th birthday.

Cape Town

See also | Cape Town Meetups
From December 2014 to November 2015 a total of five meetups were held in Cape Town. In 2017 it is planned to host meetups more regularly on a quarterly basis so as to build a stronger sense of community among Cape Town based editors.

Wiki From Above

See also | WFA 2015

From the 1st March 2015 to the 30 May 2015 the first Wiki From Above competition was held. The objective of this event was to generate high quality aerial images whilst also promoting the concept of editing Wikipedia amongst the technologically savvy group of drone pilots. The primary focus was on South African and African topics but the competition was not geographically limited. It was successful in the high preportion of submitted images that were used to illustrate Wikipedia pages.

The official page for the 2015 event can be found here.

Kiwix & Sinenjongo High School

See also | Kiwix Report

First funding in the fiscal year 2014-15 so as to install of an offline Wikipedia Kiwix unit at Sekunjalo High School at Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town. The object of this project was to test out the deployment of the Kiwix system in the field whilst also illustrating the technology to potential interested organisations for future possible role out. This project was postponed for much of 2015 due to technical issues at the school and the budget shortfall issue.


See also | Wikimedia ZA Copyright Amendment Suggestions

On the 11 August 2015 a representative of Wikimedia ZA (Douglas Scott) was invited to attend a workshop in Pretoria, South Africa on the amendment of the South African Copyright Act. This was of great interest to the chapter as editors and chapter members had encountered problems with the current act regarding freedom of panorama in South Africa. This was especially problematic for the Wiki Loves Monuments photographic competition as the act currently prevents people from uploading recently built monuments and works of public art under a CC-BY-SA licence required for an image to be hosted on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia ZA used this opportunity to advocate for the amendment of the act to allow for freedom of panorama in South Africa. As part of this advocacy Wikimedia ZA submitted a document to the Department of Trade and Industry with suggested Amendments to the act (see link above). The amendment process is still ongoing with a followup workshop on the 6 December 2016 which Wikimedia ZA will attend.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2015

See also | WLM South Africa Report 2015 Wikimedia hosted Wiki Loves Monuments for the forth time since it was first launched in the country in 2012. This included an [Wikimedia South Africa/Edit-a-thon/WLM 2015 edit-a-thon edit-a-thon] aimed at utilising submitted photographs on Wikipedia articles. Other than the edit-a-thon the event involved seven sub-events or scavanger hunts to find and photograph listed monuments. It produced 425 photographs by 40 participants. This event was the largest event hosted by Wikimedia ZA in 2015.

Joburgpedia 2015

See also | Joburgpedia 2015 Report

Joburgpedia is an ongoing initiative by Wikimedia ZA in partnership with Heritage Johannesburg to expand and improve Wikipedia articles relating to sites of historic importance within the city of Johannesburg. This includes an outreach element to encourage more members of the public, most notably school students, to edit Wikipedia. In this regard a number of edit-a-thons and plaque installations were organised with relevant partners and Wikimedia ZA volunteers.


Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014–15

As of t 30 June 2015 Wikimedia ZA had a total of R31,871 in its account. It is important to mention that in late 2015 a budget shortfall was identified of R50,000 and the Wikimedia Foundation was notified of. Wikimedia ZA worked with the Wikimedia Foundation to seek a solution to the budget shortfall problem whilst also investigating its source. The accounting firm Braude Gordon was hired to look into this matter and their report (published in mid-2016) found that the likely cause was a discrepancy between the amount asked for initially from both the WMF and the Open Society Foundation, the amount granted, and the amount budgeted for in the Wikimedia ZA professionalisation program began in 2014 and concluded in 2015. They believe the amount budgeted for was more than granted. In 2016 they made the following two suggestions. Either WM ZA hires a book keeper or WM ZA appoints a treasurer who is trained and can oversee all expenses of the chapter. The board judged the second option of a treasurer as unlikely (no one wants the job) and so strongly suggested the first option of appointing a treasurer.

The accountants hired to look into the identified budget shortfall believed it came from the Administrator bridging funding in 2014.

Financial Report

The fill financial report for Wikimedia ZA for the year ended 30 June 2015 compiled by Braude Gordon & Co. can be seen here (File:2015 AFS Wikimedia ZA - 24 05 2016 (1).pdf).

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