Data Tools

May 18, 2021

Lumec, through its initiative ‘dARTa’, received funding from the South African Cities Network as part of a call to identify Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) demonstrator projects. The purpose of the funding call is to provide seed funding support to local organisations (public, private or civic) that illustrate diverse creative, grounded initiatives that work with communities towards actualising the outcomes of the IUDF.  dARTa is a data and art initiative that brings data geeks and creatives together with the goal of portraying important data in a way that appeals to the public – to touch, hear and feel data that matters. This third instalment of dARTa is titled the ‘dARTa Lightstruck Project’.

The dARTa Lightstruck Project

This project is a collaboration between Lumec, the KZNSA Gallery, and a local creatives, Portia Ncwane, Kenneth Shandu and Steve Jones. The dARTa team proposed a project that seeks to identify the challenges that are being faced by those who either live/work/play or just visit the Glenwood Neighbourhood, and to develop a creative response to a shared challenge. This creative response will allow the team to gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the shared challenge being faced, and identify approaches to engage with citizens, the municipality, and other important stakeholders. Ultimately, the outcome of this project is to provide a framework for how government can leverage similar creative approaches to engage with local communities, and do more community-driven planning and development. This is aligned to National Government’s IUDF, and seeks to identify ways to better address the levers of the IUDF: “Empowered Active Communities” and “Effective Urban Governance.”

Project process
  1. The project was initiated by firstly doing 300 surveys across the Glenwood neighbourhood to ask the community what their favourite thing and biggest challenges are.
  2. Favourite things about the area were the ‘park and natural environment’ (22%), ‘convenient, accessible and walkable’ area (16%), and the ‘people and sense of community’ (13%)
  3. Biggest challenges were ‘crime, security and safety’ (32%), ‘waste and litter’ (10%) and ‘lack of urban management’ (9%). To explore the data for yourself, follow this link.
  4. Based on the above, the team decided to address the issue of safety, while simultaneously focusing on the other challenges of waste/litter and urban management.
  5. Specifically, the team wanted to focus on the lack of lighting in the area due to inadequate urban management and the impact of this on people’s sense of safety.
  6. In response to these challenges, the team conceptualised a large lighting sculpture that would be installed in Bulwer Park. The park is extremely dark at night given that many lights are not functioning.
  7. The sculpture was made using reclaimed fibre-optic pipe waste that the team collected from around the Glenwood area, and fitted with LED lights connected to a solar panel.
  8. The light has been installed at the KZNSA Gallery courtyard during the pilot phase (11 July – 22 August), and thereafter, will be placed in a dark area of the park.
  9. During the pilot phase, members of the community are encouraged to come view the sculpture, take photos, and engage by either writing on the chalkboard behind the KZNSA or sharing on social media with the hashtag #dartalightstruck.
  10. On 23rd August , the light will be installed within the Bulwer Park. This will be done to highlight the impact that lighting has on people’s sense of safety. The event will be open to all, and the team will talk a bit more about the project.
Get Involved

We would love more citizens, especially those with planning, data, engagement or creative skills, to input into our process. If you’d like to engage with us, please follow the dARTa Facebook and Instagram pages for updates about the launch event and on-going stakeholder engagement, and/or send an email to

For information on the first and second installment of dARTa see our blog here.

March 5, 2021

Future Cities South Africa LogoThe Global Future Cities Programme aims to improve the planning and management of three cities in South Africa, resulting in increased local prosperity and quality of life. Specifically, this includes a reduction in levels of poverty and gender inequality, together with creating two-way trade opportunities. Our overall strategy is to build trusted relationships, develop skills, and create transformational and enduring impact in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban through the delivery of five interventions. This work will focus on transport, urban regeneration, economic analysis, resilience, and human settlements.  

Future Cities South Africa is the implementing arm of the Global Future Cities Programme in South Africa. Lumec was contracted by Open Cities Lab to work on 2 Global Future Cities projects implemented at Durban and Cape Town.

City of Cape Town

The goal of this project is to support the City of Cape Town in the implementation of the Data Strategy and in the development of an Economic toolkit that, through use cases and implementation within the city ecosystem, demonstrate the impact a data-driven city can have on improving the lives of residents and in the development and progress of the city. The Data Capabilities Workstream requested technical assistance to provide support, advice and guidance on the data literacy programme. Lumec completed a report that provides recommendations and feedback based on best practice curricula and approaches applicable for the City of Cape Town. For more information see the Global Future Cities website write-up on the project here.

eThekwini Municipality

Lumec was appointed to project manage this project on behalf of the Future Cities South Africa consortium. The project aims for improved data integration, collection and analysis to facilitate collaborative informal settlement action. For more information see the Global Future Cities website write-up on the project here.

Access to this research will be added to this post as it becomes publicly available. For more information on this project, contact us.

March 5, 2021

Corruption Watch, in partnership with Transparency International, have embarked on a project called Open Contracting for Health, the aim of which is to advocate for greater transparency in health procurement processes. This research, conducted with Open Cities Lab, forms part of this project.

The 5 stages of the open procurement process (planning, tender, award, contract, implementation)

The scope of work was as follows:

  • Conducting a rapid assessment of national and provincial health procurement portals, assessing the availability of information on the portals (3 national portals and 9 provincial portals were selected for the rapid assessment).
  • Selection of 3 portals for additional in-depth technical review, including:
    • Scraping and development of a data catalogue using Open Contracting Data Standards
    • Analysis to determine which procurement health indicators are possible using the available fields and data.
    • Recommendations based on the above analysis including what additional fields should be included and what interventions should be prioritised by portal owners for improved procurement processes.
    • Analysis on overlap and peculiarities of data on the portals when compared to each other.

The three portals selected for these deep dives were the eTenders Publication Portal, the North West Department of Health Website and the Gauteng Provincial Government Tender Information Portal.

A policy brief and summary report was launched on 30 March 2021. You can see the summary report here.

July 24, 2019

The Durban EDGE data portal contains raw data, data stories and data dashboards, the majority of which are publicly available. Data includes economic growth, employment, business licensing, freight cargo and more.