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Terms of Use

Last Revised: September 29, 2023

uKESA Platform Terms of Use

These Terms of Use apply to the Urban Knowledge Exchange Southern Africa (uKESA) Platform. By using the Platform, you (User/Contributor) acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use.

1.    Introduction 
uKESA is a broad-based initiative across government and civil society to build a repository of knowledge about the built environment and human settlements, facilitated by the CSIR. It is an online repository library of knowledge products and a network of decision makers, professionals and practitioners. Through networking and sharing, uKESA aims to build greater levels of trust and collaboration amongst the stakeholders to enhance innovative, evidence-based decision making, debate, policy formulation, and practice. The ultimate goal is to contribute directly towards better, more inclusive cities, towns, villages and neighbourhoods.

2.    Definitions 
2.1.    “CSIR” is the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a statutory body established in 1945 and continuing to exist in terms of the Scientific Research Council Act 46 of 1988, as amended.
2.2.    “Content” is content uploaded by a Contributor to the Platform and approved by the uKESA Administrator into the online library (including – without limitation - abstracts, bibliographies, books, book chapters, conference papers, dissertations, theses, government documents, learning material, legislation, manuals guidelines, media articles, meeting reports, models, tools, newsletters, policy briefs, presentations, press releases, reports, research papers, reviews, speeches, technical papers, working papers, comments and discussion) which may be uploaded in various formats.
2.3.    “Contributor” is a User of the uKESA Platform who is entitled to make use of Contributor Actions.
2.4.    “Contributor Actions” are actions carried out by Contributors who have subscribed to the Platform and include - without limitation - the right to upload relevant and approved Content for public sharing on the Platform, announce an event, post a comment on another Contributor’s Content, join a discussion forum, share links to other websites, and create an organisation profile for their affiliated organisations. 
2.5.    “Effective Date” is the date on which the User/Contributor first makes use of the Platform.
2.6.    “Platform” is the uKESA online content management system.
2.7.     “Terms of Use” is this Terms of Use document which is a binding agreement between the Contributor and uKESA. 
2.8.    “Urban Knowledge Exchange Southern Africa” or uKESA” is a project which is run under the auspices of the CSIR. 
2.9.    “uKESA Administrator” is a person or persons responsible for  - without limitation - the Content approval process and approval of Contributors and Users, with rights to access the front and back ends of the Website, and to approve, reject or block Content, Users, and/or Contributors on the Website.
2.10.    “uKESA Material” is the Platform/ the Website, the content developed by uKESA and uploaded to the Platform, and the Platform metadata.
2.11.    “User” is a person who accesses and/or uses the Website and/or the Platform.
2.12.    “Website” is the website page from where the Platform is accessed.

3.     Use of the Platform
3.1.    A User/Contributor acknowledges that he/she is responsible for complying with the Protection of Personal Information Act (4 of 2013) and all other applicable laws when using the Platform.
3.2.     A User/Contributor must use the Platform in a responsible, ethical and professional manner.
3.3.    A User/Contributor may not resell any Content and/or uKESA Material without the prior written consent of uKESA and/or the owner of the Content concerned.
3.4.    A Contributor hereby confirms that he/she has the required authority to share all Content that he/she contributes, that sharing such Content shall not infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party and/or that any necessary permissions or authorisations required to share Content have been duly obtained. The Contributor indemnifies and holds uKESA, the CSIR and its principals, directors, employees and service providers harmless against the Contributor’s breach of the intellectual property rights of third parties.
3.5.    A Contributor may make a written request to uKESA to take down any Content contributed by him/her at any time. This will be carried out at the discretion of the uKESA Administrator who, should the request be accepted, agrees to take down such content within fourteen (14) days of receipt of such request, or within such reasonable time as the uKESA administrator would be able to do so.
3.6.    A Contributor must apply appropriate security best practices to secure his/her account which includes – without limitation - keeping passwords safe and confidential. 
3.7.    A Contributor is responsible for all activity which occurs on or through his/her account. 
3.8.    If a Contributor learns of, or reasonably suspects, any unauthorised use of his/her user account, the Contributor must immediately notify uKESA at uKESA@csir.co.za.

4.    uKESA’s Rights
4.1.    Contributor Actions are subject to preapproval by the uKESA Administrator.
4.2.    uKESA reserves the right to amend, reformat, delete, share and/or not to share Content. Please see the Editorial Guide for further information. 
4.3.    uKESA reserves the right to update the Website and/or Platform. A User indemnifies uKESA against any damages he/she may incur as a result of unavailability of the Platform and/or unavailability or loss of Content. 
4.4.    uKESA may suspend or stop providing access to the Platform to a User if it believes or discovers non-compliance by such User with these Terms of Use.

5.    Restrictions 
5.1.    Contributors may only use the Platform as permitted by law and in accordance with these Terms of Use.
5.2.    A Contributor must use his/her own account. A Contributor may not rent, lease, loan, trade or sell their access to the Platform. 
5.3.    A Contributor may not misuse the Platform or use the Platform to share Content that is considered inappropriate or contains Content unacceptable to the uKESA Administrator. This includes – without limitation - data which:
5.3.1.    is illegal,
5.3.2.    may harm computer and network systems and the data on them i.e.  viruses or malware, 
5.3.3.    infringes on any trademark, patent, copyright or other intellectual property rights (i.e. use of such data without permission or appropriate authority),  [e.g. movies, music, video clips, images, photographs, books, games and any other software]
5.3.4.    contains nudity or anything of a sexually explicit nature, or any other intimate image of an identifiable person without that person’s explicit consent, or
5.3.5.    incites damage to property or violence.
5.4.    A Contributor must refrain from harassing, abusing, discriminating against, participating in hate-speech or harming another person or unlawfully infringing on another Contributor’s right to use and enjoy the Platform or any related discussion forums.
5.5.    A Contributor may not use the Platform to disclose, or attempt to disclose, personal or confidential information to persons or entities not authorised to receive it.
5.6.    A Contributor may not attempt to override, defeat or circumvent any security feature of the Platform.

6.    Proprietary Rights
6.1.    The uKESA Material is the property of uKESA.
6.2.    Copyright in the Content is owned by the Contributor or the copyright holder. 
6.3.    The Contributor hereby grants to the CSIR a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free licence to use the Contributor’s Content for the  purposes of providing the Platform, including - without limitation - the right to publish, reproduce, reformat, amend, integrate in a database and archive the Content.
6.4.    The User agrees to use the Content strictly in compliance with the copyright licence relating to the Content concerned.
6.5.    No licence is granted to use any trademarks of the CSIR nor those of any third party displayed on the Platform, without the prior written consent of the proprietor of the trademark concerned. The display of any third party trademarks on the Platform does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by the CSIR of the products, services or companies concerned.

7.    Breach and Termination
7.1.     uKESA or a Contributor may terminate this agreement, without cause, by providing ten (10) business days' prior written notice to the other party. Unless a request is made in terms of clause 3.5 above, all Content submitted by such Contributor will remain on the Platform.
7.2.    Any conduct of a User in violation of the Terms of Use will be considered a breach and, in addition to any other remedies available, uKESA may terminate the User’s right to use the Platform with immediate effect. A User acknowledges that any breach of the Terms of Use may result in civil, criminal or regulatory sanctions being sought.
7.3.    uKESA reserves the right to preserve the User’s data on the Platform as evidence of breach for any civil, criminal or regulatory requirement.

8.    Privacy Notice 
8.1.    In order to register as a Contributor and to make use of the Platform certain personal information is collected.
8.2.    The personal information collected may be used to contact a Contributor regarding the Platform or any Platform related service(s).
8.3.    A Contributor acknowledges that when he/she shares personal information on the Platform, this personal information may be shared publically. A Contributor may request that his/her personal information is removed from the uKESA Platform; however, uKESA can only remove information within its own systems and cannot be held responsible for the proliferation of personal information that has been shared outside its own systems.   
8.4.    uKESA treats personal information as set out in its Privacy Notice on the Website. By using the Platform, a Contributor consents to the uKESA Privacy Notice. 
8.5.    If a federated identity system is used in order to gain access to third party databases, a Contributor hereby acknowledges that his/her Platform login details will be provided to the federated identity manager and possibly the third party. 
8.6.    A Contributor’s personal information will not be used for any other purpose unless consent from the Contributor is obtained and/or uKESA is compelled by law to do so. If uKESA is obliged by law to share a Contributor’s personal information with a third party, it will notify the Contributor if it is lawful to do so.

9.    Communication
9.1.    Contributors may receive service announcements, administrative messages, newsletters, event details, requests for feedback and other information in connection with the use of the Platform.
9.2.    For any concerns or queries or to opt out of such communications, Users/Contributors may contact uKESA@csir.co.za.

10.    Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability 
10.1.    To the fullest extent allowable by applicable law, the Platform is provided “as is,” without warranty of any kind.  All warranties, whether express or implied, are hereby disclaimed, including without limitation implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Without limiting the foregoing, uKESA does not warrant that the operation of the Platform will be uninterrupted or error free or that the Content will always be available, accurate or unchanged.
10.2.    While uKESA will make every effort to ensure that the Platform is secure and fit for use, a User/Contributor agrees that uKESA and its affiliates shall not be liable for any damages, including but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages (including but not limited to loss of profits or revenue, loss of use of data or software or services) which arise from these Terms of Use or the use of the Platform, whether the claim for damages is based in contract, delict (including negligence), strict liability or otherwise. This indemnity extends to the content, use, storage and availability of the data, and is binding on the User’s/Contributor’s heirs, legatees, successors-in-title, nominees and/or administrators.

11.    Jurisdiction
The laws of the Republic of South Africa will apply to all aspects of any dispute arising out of or relating to these Terms of Use and/or the use of the Platform.

12.     Variation 
uKESA reserves the right to amend and/or extend at any time.

Legal Notice and Disclaimer

This agreement is between Urban Knowledge Exchange Southern Africa (uKESA), a project run by the CSIR, and any person accessing and using this website or those acting through such persons (‘the User’).

Please note that by accessing this website, you are using it entirely at your own risk and are agreeing to be bound by all of the terms and conditions as set out herein. In the event that you do not wish to be bound by these terms and conditions, please exit this website as you may not access, display, use, download, copy or distribute any of the content of this website. By using this website you, the User, undertake not to use this website for any illegal or unlawful purpose and are using a computer system or device that you are authorised to use.

uKESA makes a reasonable effort to keep the contents of this website updated, complete and accurate, but does not warrant or represent that the information is always updated and correct, therefore, the onus lies on you to verify any information before use. uKESA does not warrant that this website is uninterrupted, virus and default free. It is the responsibility of the User to ensure that his/her device, hardware and/or software are compatible with this website.

Should this website provide a link to another website, the use of such other linked website must not be construed to constitute a relationship with this websites terms and conditions. The use of such links will be at your own risk and liability. In terms of section 15(1) the Merchandise Marks Act, 1941 (Act 17 of 1941) as amended, the User or anyone who acts through or via him/her may not use the CSIR logo, brand, trademarks and copyright without an expressed written permission of the CSIR.

If any particular provision of this agreement is unenforceable and may be severed from the remaining terms and conditions, then such remaining terms and conditions shall continue to apply. Failure to apply any of these terms and conditions shall not constitute a waiver of such right.

uKESA reserves the right to modify and update this website at any given time and as such, there may be down-time of the website from time-to-time.

uKESA, the CSIR, its board, executive management, employees, sub-contractors, agents, representative or assigns shall not be held liable for any claims (for personal injury, whether direct, indirect, consequential or special in any manner whatsoever), losses and damages that may be suffered by the User or his/her employees, sub-contractors, agents, representative or assigns that may arise, directly or indirectly, from use or reliance of the contents of this website and its functionality.

By accessing and using this website, you hereby indemnify uKESA, the CSIR, its board, executive management, employees, sub-contractors, agents, representative or assigns against any and all liability for all claims, loss, damages made by any third party or incurred by you in respect of any third party that arises from your use of this website.

This website shall be governed by the laws of South Africa. The use of this website constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions, which contract is then deemed to have been made in Pretoria in South Africa.

Editorial Policy


This is an editorial guide to help people contributing content to, and approving content on, the Urban Knowledge Exchange of Southern Africa (uKESA). Please also refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy documents as these contain conditions applicable to the submission of content, its approval and its use. 

The uKESA platform contains a range of types of content, all the way from formally peer-reviewed articles to what might be termed grey literature.  The aim is to host and to reference as wide a range of relevant, quality information as possible. To build a trustworthy collection of content, there are certain editorial standards that should be maintained, and this document seeks to outline those in broad terms.  

All documents are moderated by our content approvers in line with our editorial guide and to ensure that our scope and quality requirements have been met. 

The application of the editorial guide to content approval will be at the discretion of the content approvers. Documents will be assessed according to whether they fall within the uKESA scope, the quality and standard of the information presented, and adherence to ethical standards (refer Terms of Use).

Our Scope

uKESA focuses on issues relating to urban development, the built environment, and human settlements,  and the governance thereof. We have created a framework of sectors and themes that describe this scope (see Appendix A). Prior to submitting content, we encourage contributors to assess whether the content they wish to submit falls within this scope. The broader objective is to ensure that there is consistency of subjects/ topics contributed and overall user-friendliness of the platform.

The thematic framework expands upon the various possible areas within urban development including politics, economics, construction, environment, health, land issues, human rights, land law and social development.

Should there be any themes or sectors not included that a contributor thinks should be added, we encourage suggestions to be sent to ukesa@csir.co.za.


The types of content that we accept include:

  • Bibliography
  • Blog
  • Book
  • Book chapter
  • Brochure
  • Call
  • Case study
  • Conference paper
  • Dashboard
  • Discussion
  • Dissertation
  • Events information
  • Guide/ Handbook
  • Information page
  • Journal article
  • Learning material
  • Legislation / regulations
  • Media article
  • Meeting summary / report
  • Newsletter
  • Podcast
  • Policy brief
  • Presentation
  • Report
  • Repository
  • Research report
  • Review
  • Story map / data story
  • Strategy paper
  • Tool/ Toolkit
  • Video
  • Working paper

There are certain types of documents that we will NOT accept, and these include:

  • Pure opinion pieces with no referencing or indication of evidence-based research
  • Any document that does not comply with our Terms of Use policy regarding appropriateness
  • Thematic content outside of the stated scope of the platform


The uKESA platform supports the following document formats:

  • PDF
  • JPEG

If content is submitted in MS Word or other rich text format, it will be converted into PDF format prior to publishing. 


uKESA applies multiple phases of quality control of the content that is submitted for publication on the site: 

  1. Content contributor profile approval
  2. Check edits of contributor profile
  3. Approval of each content submission
  4. Check edits to the content
  5. Monitor comments on the document

However, the responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content remains the responsibility of the submitting authors, organisations or those uploading content on behalf of authors or organisations.

The standard assessments of academic documents by the content approvers should confirm overall quality of content including ensuring that the description of methods is clear, the presentation of results is clear and arrangement of evidence is logical.


The content contributor must provide clarity in cases where a document or parts of an article are not the work of the contributor/ author. Our content approvers may pick up potential plagiarism issues, and may refer these back to the contributor. Content that is not the work of the author should be clearly attributed to ensure that this is clear to the reader. Should potential cases of plagiarism be noticed by any user, we encourage users to bring this to our attention so that we can respond appropriately. 

Permissions/ ethics

As per the Terms of Use policy, content contributors should secure permissions for the content (see definition of content in Terms of Use) and all corresponding authors and co-authors must be adequately referenced and cited.

Where appropriate for previously published content, contributors should provide appropriate information and metadata to properly acknowledge publishers. If the article is published in a journal and there are associated copyright and licencing restrictions that prevent a content contributor from freely sharing the original document on the uKESA site, the contributor should instead provide the URL link to where the document may be found and due payment/ subscriptions can be made externally of the uKESA site. 

Hosting Organisation Documents

Our platform provides the function to link documents to the organisations that produced them, and the respective author(s). Thus, it is an advantage if the uploader ensures that there is an organisation profile created on uKESA that will appear in the metadata of the document and be linked to the organisation page.  If an organisation profile has not been created yet, the content contributor may create one.

Content Approvers’ Concerns 

Content approvers will consider the appropriateness of each content submission with regards to: 

  • whether it falls within the thematic scope of the platform
  • whether it conforms to the type of content that the site hosts
  • whether it adheres to our Terms of Use regarding appropriateness

Appendix A


  • Built Environment
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Human Settlements
  • ICT
  • Land 
  • Legal
  • Natural Environment
  • Social Facilities
  • Solid Waste
  • Transport
  • Water and Sanitation


  • Climate Change/Resilience
  • Economics
  • Environmental management
  • Food security
  • Gender
  • Governance
  • Law
  • Livelihoods
  • Macro economics
  • Markets
  • Methodologies
  • Migration
  • Mining Towns
  • Peri-urban
  • Policy
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Rights
  • Rural
  • Safety and security
  • Small Towns
  • Smart Cities
  • Sustainability
  • Urban
  • Urban and Regional Dynamics
  • Youth


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