Cape Town libraries prepare for #Coding4Mandela tourney

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 02 Jul 2024
Cape Town libraries will host coding sessions in honour of Mandela Day celebrations.
Cape Town libraries will host coding sessions in honour of Mandela Day celebrations.

A total of 38 Cape Town libraries will host in-house coding sessions as part of the Mandela Day Coding Tournament.

Facilitated by the Department of Computing Sciences at Nelson Mandela University, in partnership with Tangible Africa and the Leva Foundation, the coding tournament takes place on Mandela Day.

In a statement, the city says it anticipates more teams to participate in this year’s tournament, after 26 teams participated last year. Some libraries have only one team and have therefore joined forces or partnered with their local schools, forming more than 30 teams for the upcoming tournament, it states.

After the coding sessions, teams will go through to the national competition in October and then the world tournament in December.

“The winners of the library-level competition sessions will be entered onto a database with their scores and times, and the top three teams from each area will then move on to the final round.

“The finals will be hosted on 31 July or 1 August, and 12 teams will go head-to-head to determine the top three city teams. It is these three teams who will be in the running to represent Cape Town in the national and world tournament competitions.”

The Mandela Day coding project honours late president Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the fight for social justice and democracy in SA and his belief in the value of education.

Tangible Africa is responsible for creating coding apps, Tanks and Rangers, which allow participants to play offline, using minimal resources.

Last year, the final tournament drew participants from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Germany and the US, and the three participating city libraries placed in the top 10.

Unplugged coding allows libraries to bring coding to communities that do not have access to expensive resources, says the city statement.

“There is no doubt children learn through play, and coding is a fun way to improve on logic and problem-solving skills. Since coding was introduced to our libraries two years ago, it has grown in leaps and bounds.

“Coding also enhances creativity and because they have to come up with solutions, they can’t procrastinate. I want to encourage our young patrons to sign up and get involved at their library. It’s a few hours of social and recreational interaction,” says mayoral committee member for community services and health, councillor Patricia van der Ross.

The participating libraries are: Adriaanse, Athlone Library, Belhar, Bellville, Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel, Bothasig, Brackenfell, Crossroads, Delft, Durbanville, Edgemead, Elsies River, Goodwood, Hanover Park, Harare, Huguenot Square, Kensington, Kloof Street, Kraaifontein, Kulani, Lansdowne, Leonsdale, Lotus River, Moses Mabhida, Mowbray, Observatory, Ocean View, Parow, PD Paulse, Pinelands, Plumstead, Retreat, Rocklands, Southfield, Town Centre, Valhalla Park and Vredehoek.

To find out more about the coding sessions, city residents can visit their local library, or contact