#TrainTourHack postponed due to lack of funds

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#TrainTourHack was to start on 5 September, but has been postponed.
#TrainTourHack was to start on 5 September, but has been postponed.

The inaugural #TrainTourHack – a 36-hour hackathon that was to take place on the rails between Johannesburg and Cape Town – has been postponed for a lack of funds.

ICT training platform Geekulcha partnered with tour operator Zulu Nomad, market research company BrownSense InSight, and the National Department of Tourism to host the tour, which was due to start on 5 September.

The 42 coders who had been chosen for the train tour were tasked with creating tech-based solutions for the local travel and tourism industry.

Geekulcha’s COO Tiyani Nghonyama previously told ITWeb: “If local geeks can explore the country, they will be able to build better solutions based on what they have experienced.”

According to Nghonyama, Geekulcha and its partners have commitment from the National Department of Tourism to cover the largest expense – the train itself. 

However, the department notified the organisers that the minister of tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, won't be in Johannesburg to address the participants and will be out of the country when the train reaches Cape Town, , and asked for the tour to be postponed.  

Prasa had initially agreed to receive a post-payment for the train from the organisers, but it later emerged that post-payments only apply to government departments. This left the organisers with three days to raise the R250 000 necessary to secure the train for the group of hackers, mentors and ‘travel influencers’ (social media users who make a name for themselves promoting travel companies or products to their followers).

Nghonyama added that the #TrainTourHack organisers are still engaging with NDT to secure a new date for the tour.

In addition, a crowdfunding campaign will be launched soon to continue raising funds for the hackathon expenses.

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