Example open data-based applications in South Africa
Wazimap visualises Stats SA Census 2011 and Community Survey 2016 data
South African Cities Open Data Almanac (SCODA) is launching a new version soon
BioEnergy Atlas decision-support tool uses infrastructure and natural resource data
Durban EDGE Open Data Portal runs regular data stories on economic topics
Medicine Pricing Registry draws on medicine pricing data from the NDoH
Planning for Informality uses planning and performance data from cities
Municipal Money and Vulekamali visualise fiscal data from Treasury
Transport apps like GoMetro have drawn on open data from cities
Open Gazettes and Laws.Africa make it easier to view legal and legislative data
SAAQIS air quality index and dashboard draw on air quality data
Regional eXplorer and EasyData economic intelligence tools draw on Stats SA data
Visualisation and storytelling
For visualisation, there are many to try out like Flourish and Datawrapper. If you're more technical and using Python or R, have a look at this summary of libraries.
Have a look at these storytelling tools from Knightlab including Timeline, StoryMap, Soundcite and Juxtapose.
For creating infographics, there are tools like Infogram.
For mapping relationships or networks as a story try GraphCommons, see this example of three musicians in a recording ecosystem. Kumu is also popular for network visualisation.
Extracting and cleaning data
If you want to get data tables out of PDFs you can try Tabula, pd3f, or Excalibur/ Camelot.
OpenRefine is good for cleaning data.
If you want to extract and analyse text in articles or books (e.g. to identify people and places) there are lots of tools to try like TextRazor, Intellexer and Google's Natural Language.
For mapping, something like Kepler is easier to use. For more detail on other tools and working with spatial data see this page.