[okfn-za] Ideas for an initial group project - input wanted!

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Feb 14 12:01:47 UTC 2013

On 11 February 2013 12:54, Adi Eyal <adi at burgercom.co.za> wrote:
> 1) pulling stats together for minors in prison: what was bail, how
>> > long has he/she been in there, how many times has court been postponed
>> > due to "lost" docket or absent key person
>> Any idea where we could find the data? Is it all paper or is it
>> electronic? Does the government make it available. Could we focus on a
>> specific locality to start with?
> I've poked around quickly online but the only database on verdicts that I
> have found is for High Courts and the Supreme Court - but nothing obviously
> interesting. We would need someone with more intimate knowledge of where
> this data could be found.

Very useful data point. Sounds like this is a bit of a non-starter
because of this!

>> > 3) degrees of separation mind-mappish type thingy for 500 most
>> > influential South Africans.
>> > Type in two names, and thingy finds the shortest routes between the
>> > two people (boards of directors, relatives, education, political
>> > events, tenders).
>> > Not "quite simple" as you requested but would be fascinating.
>> So we need the SA companies register including directors. theyrule for
>> South Africa [1]. Is the Companies Register available in machine
>> readable format
> The companies register is pathetic. It only provides the name and
> registration number of the company. There is a cost to finding out who the
> directors are. This is a prime target for a FOI application - although it's
> unlikely to be successful without costly litigation.

Let's get the FoI presses cranking :-) Even if unsuccessful it could
be the start of a nice campaign!

>> > 6) national map of police station location juxtap with population
>> > I have in mind the Hout Bay police station for 20,000 people vs the
>> > eastern Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve police station for 20 people, 1/4
>> > of whom work in the station.
>> Again, very nice. Where
> This is easy enough
> police stations can be found on the SAPS site -
> http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2012/provinces/w_cape/western_cape.htm
> they aren't geocoded but you could probably find their coordinates in the
> OpenStreetMaps POI database.


> The police aren't keen on providing shape files demarcating police
> jurisdictions (I've tried) so we would have to use a heuristic to figure out
> which areas are policed by which stations.

How hard would that be. I feel we could make a start by focusing on a
specific region or city ...

> Finally, population data is available from StatsSA. As yet, they haven't
> released sub-place level information (e.g. Hout Bay). Only municipal level
> data is currently available. They're promising sub-place level information
> in March but I'm not holding my breath given the census fiasco. We can use
> the 2001 census as a proxy until the 2011 data becomes available.

Sounds good. Let's kick this off!


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