Young library patrons crack the code

18 Jul 2023 in Where We Govern

More than 100 young people, among them patrons from 26 City libraries, participated in the Coding4Mandela event at City Hall earlier today. The event, spearheaded by Tangible Africa, was the showpiece of the ‘unplugged’ coding initiative, that saw the top teams do battle on the day. Read more below:

Ocean View Library walked away the winners of the tournament, with Excelsior High School in second place and Valhalla Park Library’s Second Team in third.

The award-winning tangible coding movement is growing and is an engagement project of the Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Department and the Leva Foundation.

The City’s Library and Information Services partnered with the university and the foundation to host the tournament, which is the flagship event of Tangible Africa, responsible for creating coding applications, TANKS and RANGERS, which allow participants to play offline, using minimal resources. 

Coding tests a variety of abilities and hones analytical skills such as finding errors and thinking logically.

Participants had to work in teams, which also enhanced their interpersonal and collaboration skills.

‘This is a phenomenal undertaking, and I am so excited that our libraries had an opportunity to be a part of it. I hope to see many more of our libraries sign up into the future, so that we can help develop young minds, and shape futures. I want to thank all of the partners for including the City of Cape Town – unplugged coding is a tangible way of making a difference in the lives of our patrons, irrespective of age, and the fact that it is able to break through the barriers to access such as data or top of the range electronic devices is really something to applaud. I hope that this initiative will see more participants signing up, and coding becoming a regular feature at all of our libraries,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

The libraries that participated are: Camps Bay, Mowbray, Observatory, Belhar, Bonteheuwel, Goodwood, Durbanville, Milnerton, Bellville, Parow, Leonsdale, Ocean View, Hanover Park, Manenberg, Central, Pinelands, Pelican Park, Kuyasa, Rocklands, Bishop Lavis, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Grassy Park, Khayelitsha, Adriaanse and Valhalla Park Library.

Unplugged coding allows libraries to bring coding to communities who do not have access to expensive resources.  

By downloading a very small app (7MB), participants can play TANKS or RANGERS offline, using the app and the tokens from the game packs.

To find out more about coding in your region, contact 

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