The Wikimedia Foundation’s (WMF) Board of Trustees recently issued a resolution which provisionally recognises Wikimedia South Africa as a Wikimedia Chapter.
This comes after a recommendation by the Wikimedia Chapters Commitee which confirmed that the structure and bylaws of Wikimedia South Africa comply with current requirements and guidelines for future chapters.
In provisionally recognising Wikimedia South Africa as an official Wikimedia Chapter, the WMF Board granted the chapter permission to use the Wikimedia trademarks, pending the signature of a Chapters Agreement.
“Recognition and trademark use will be governed by the terms of the Agreement for as long as it is in force,” the Wikimedia resolution stated.
According to the resolution the provisional period may be extended at the discretion of the Foundation’s executive director.
To have the “provisional” qualifier removed, Wikimedia South Africa needs to register as an organisation in South Africa within the next year, explained Lourie Pieterse, one of the founding members of the South African Wikimedia Chapter.
Wikimedia South Africa’s members have agreed on setting up the Chapter as a Section 21 (non-profit) company and the proposed Memorandum and Articles of Association are available on the chapter’s “Meta-Wiki” page.
Once the company registration has gone through, the chapter can sign the Chapters Agreement, as required by the WMF.
Returning from a recent Wikimedia Foundation Chapters event in Berlin, Germany, Pieterse said that it was informative to hear discussions of problems other chapters face. It was interesting that many chapters struggle with the same issues, Pieterse noted.
Pieterse said that armed with the knowledge of what other chapters have gone through it feels like Wikimedia South Africa has an advantage compared to other newly started chapters.
Wikimedia SA chapter now official << Comments and views
Lourie Pieterse’s picture courtesy of Lourie Pieterse, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Unported 3.0 license