Controversial govt website to be probed

The Free State will determine whether it received value for money in a provincial government website deal, premier Ace Magashule said on Wednesday.

Magashule said, following public concerns, that his provincial government had to look at “whether we received value for money”.

The deal would therefore be investigated, he said at a business breakfast organised by The New Age newspaper and SABC 2.

According to reports the Free State government was paying R40 million for the development of a government website. Free State co-operative governance MEC Olley Mlamleli said at the same event that the province spent R47m re-engineering 38 provincial government websites. She said the deal included research, design, and content development.

The province said the total project, involving 38 websites, cost R24m in the 2011/2012 finance year, and would cost R23.8m in the 2012/13 financial year.

Since the start of the project in 2011 the Free State premier’s department had spent about R14.8m on the project.

This formed part of the R23.8m budgeted for in 2012/2013. The rest of the R23.8 million would be financed by the provincial co-operative governance department.

The State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) was responsible for the hosting and security of the websites.

The consortium of Cherry-Online-Ikamva-Juggernaut, in association with various community radio stations, had been appointed to deal with the design, research, content development, and generation in the first phase of the project.

The second phase would bring community radio stations on board with continuous content development, and updating, and broadcasting of news and activities.

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Controversial govt website to be probed