Rules and requirements

  1. We will only accept entries from teams and not from individuals. Teams must consist of two or more people.
  2. No one who works at any of the supporting organisations (Code for South Africa and Code for Africa) can enter the challenge. Only people living in South Africa may enter.
  3. Multiple entries by a single team are permitted but the prize will be limited to one team. An individual may not participate in more than one team.
  4. Codebridge will notify the final eight teams who will compete for the grand prize of R20,000 by Thursday 29 September 2016.
  5. To remain eligible for the grand prize, the competing eight teams will:
    • Be required to attend training workshops and a planning session. These will be held on Saturday 1 October in Cape Town and Durban. If members of your team are unable to attend these for legitimate reasons, we will try our best to accommodate you. However, please keep in mind that these sessions are geared towards helping to make your story stronger and to allow you to properly plan.
    • Be required to do weekly check-ins with your mentors at Codebridge. If you do not fulfil this requirement, your team will face disqualification.
    • Be required to produce at least two pieces of content a week once planning has commenced, such as blogs, vlogs, short pieces, back stories, etc. This will be published on the Codebridge website, as well as by our donors, and teams are encouraged to use this content to promote their story. If you do not fulfil these requirements, your team will face disqualification.
    • Be required to put together a budget plan, once planning has commenced, of no more than R7,000. Once your budget has been approved, you will receive this money from Codebridge and must use it to turn your idea into a publishable story.
    • Receive access to expert support, such as drone pilots, app developers, designers, experienced activists and journalists.
The final eight projects will be judged by an expert panel and the judges' decision is final.

Frequently asked questions

Re-imagine Storytelling has two main focuses: social justice and innovation. We are looking for stories that address an issue of social injustice and aim to drive some form of change.

You can choose to focus on any social issue that you feel is relevant to a local community in South Africa.
Solutions-based reporting is inevitably about driving social change, by looking at how people are responding to a particular issue. It aims to produce high-impact solutions reporting and to develop educational ways in which to deal with a particular issue (eg workshops, a community newspaper or an online campaign). This does not mean that your story has to solve a particular problem, but should include elements of solutions-based reporting.
When it comes to the method of storytelling, we are looking for something that is innovative. This is a lot harder to pin down, because the options are endless – your team must be creative when considering this.

You may want to develop an app, make a short (or long) documentary, produce a piece of long-form journalism, create an awareness campaign that involves various ways of telling a particular story, build a website or create an online interactive tool that shows an impact of social injustice.
  • Why should the public be made aware of this issue?
  • Is this something people will be interested in, moved by and potentially be encouraged to be involved in change?
  • Is there a good, compelling story to tell?
  • Can including elements of data help to tell my story?
  • What are some of the best ways to tell this type of story?
  • Is there potential for offering up solutions by potentially involving an NGO or community group?
  • What will the long-lasting impact of my story be, beyond publication?
Your method of storytelling may alter over time, but we ask that when submitting an entry, you have at least one idea of how you would like to tell your story.
We have included some examples of what we consider 'innovative storytelling' below this. You can also go to and check out some of the projects we have been involved with for more ideas.
The best place to find existing ideas and teams that you could possibly join is on the Codebridge Hack Dash board. All projects with #CBStoryChallenge as part of their title are entering the challenge. Here, you can join or follow a project and use the comments section to express interest, ask questions and get in touch with the project manager. Unfortunately, Hack Dash does not allow for location to appear on the featured image of each project, so we encourage participants to use the comments section to determine where stories are based.

Alternatively, you can use our online discussion forum to leave comments, get feedback, find a team and offer your skills.

Lastly, many of the challenge’s participants have been very active on social media. You can use the Codebridge Facebook page or Twitter feed to find what you are looking for.

You may join a team that has already submitted their entry, as long as they are all in agreement with you doing so - it is then the team’s responsibility to inform Codebridge of this.
Yes, of course you can! We have hosted these events with the aim of launching, promoting and giving people an idea of what the challenge is all about. The only 'event' that participants are required to attend is a workshop in early October – however, this will only be for the 8 final teams, who will be competing for the grand prize.
Yes. We have a small support system in Johannesburg, but will be able to offer support throughout, from Cape Town and Durban. If teams are unable to attend the compulsory training and planning workshop at the beginning of October in either city, we will work with the team to make a plan.
Once the 8 finalists have been chosen, teams will be required to attend a training and planning workshop in early October. Here, they will be taken through existing tools, multiple story ideas and be given the chance to start planning how they are going to turn their idea into a publishable story.

We do not expect anyone to be an expert at everything that is required of competing in this challenge, which is why we have support teams in both Cape Town and Durban. We encourage the finalists to use this support as much as possible, and will be there throughout the planning, reporting and packaging process.

The finalists will then have three weeks to do their reporting and information-gathering. Again, they will be supported by Codebridge throughout this process.

The first ten days of November will be spent writing, editing and putting stories together.

A further week will be provided to complete packaging of stories and if possible (this is reliant on teams and the effort they have made to do this throughout), published. Our support team, as always, will be there to assist teams with this, every step of the way.

The judges will then start going through the final products (whether or not they have been published) towards the end of November and will announce the winner shortly thereafter.


Each competing team will receive a small budget to help make their story and project innovation happen. This will cover things like travel, equipment and material costs. Teams will be encouraged to crowdsource financial resources and skills that cannot be covered by your budget, or which team members are unable to fulfil.

Workshops and training

Competing teams will have to attend workshops and training sessions in either Cape Town or Durban (depending on where you are based) in mid-September. These will cover things like solutions-based and citizen journalism, information-gathering, and some helpful tools you can use to do this. Finalists will use these sessions to refine and strengthen their proposals, as well as develop implementation plans and budgets ahead of final judging.

Supporting projects

These projects will go beyond just telling a story and will also be about sustainable implementation. Teams will be encouraged to use as many platforms and networking opportunities as they have access to, as well as those offered by Codebridge, to gain added support for their story-projects. Many of these stories will be published in national media, but will need to be promoted beyond this by participants.

Looking for inspiration?

Here are a few of the stories we've done using data, technology and new media

Living Wage

Living wage

Are you paying your domestic worker enough?

Informal Settlement Matrix

Informal Settlement Matrix

An interactive map presenting data on Cape Town's informal settlements

Check out some of our tools

Code for South Africa has built a variety of online tools that help to tell the stories behind the data and make it easy to understand, navigate and apply to make informed decisions. These are just some of the tools you could use to tell your story.

Open By-laws

Open By-laws

Full local by-laws for Cape Town, eThekwini and Johannesburg



Detailed demographics and election results for everywhere in South Africa, right down to the ward level



Everything from the day-to-day workings of parliament

With support from:

We thank our donors for making this storytelling challenge possible