Gauteng report for 2012

Marina Joubert was our regional representative in Gauteng for 2012. Here is what she reports on activities from the Gauteng region for 2012:

Membership drive:
We tried really hard to grow the number of SASJA members in Gauteng. New corporate members that joined during the year include Wits and SAASTA, and several individual members.

Several Gauteng members (myself, Wiida, Mandi and others) participated in a workshop organised by Pedro Diederichs of SANEF/TUT on “The Media and Science: a partnership” held on 11 April 2012 at TUT Pretoria campus.
As with all other science and media events, we used this opportunity to tell science journalists about SASJA.

I represented SASJA at a “SA Biotech and Media Dialogue” held on 16 May 2012 in Midrand. This full-day event was organised by AfricaBio, and included a short presentation on science journalism in SA and the role of SASJA.

I represented SASJA at a CSIR workshop on “Reporting the science of climate change” held 4 & 5 June 2012. SASJA membership forms were handed out to all the delegates.

A very successful networking meeting of Gauteng SASJA members was hosted by the CSIR on 10 October 2012 as part of their “Real Problems Relevant Solutions” conference. It was attended by the following ten members: Anina Mumm, Greer van Zyl, Colleen Dawson, Wiida Basson, Ina van der Linde, Ina Roos, Shirona Patel, Kanina Foss, Ginny Stone and Marina Joubert. We also met Dr Rachel Chikwamba, CSIR Group Executive: Strategic Alliances and Communication, and she was very interested in the activities of SASJA and keen on promoting science journalism/communication in the country. We identified Gauteng members willing to serve on the SASJA Executive (they have been nominated), and, following the meeting, Colleen Dawson drafted a letter to send to potential new members (sent to SASJA Executive on 11 October 2012). The meeting identified the need for a more dynamic and appealing website and social media strategy as an important requirement/tool for attracting new members.