Lets play a game – spot the difference. Here is a clue: one costs $40 and the other cost between $40 and R140 million….
The one line that says it all:
This is what you see when you look at the source code of the Free State Government website.
This line says that this website was created by software that generates WordPress Themes. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system that you can download and install on your own server. Companies will host your WordPress website or Blog for a couple of dollars per month.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with WordPress (this blog runs on WordPress), there is something seriously wrong with paying R140 million for this WordPress site considering that WordPress Themes are as cheap as FREE and as “expensive” as couple of hundred dollars (see examples in this image)
A WordPress site is built so that it has an easy interface to upload content known as Content Management System (CMS). What has left me baffled is that according to the Sowetan newspaper this contract to redesign their website started in 2011. So it took 3 years to get to this point. Why ? If your CMS requires 3 years to upload content to your site, you bought the wrong stuff !
Who Designed this ?
I wanted to know what I could get for R140 million for my site but Cherryonline, the company that designed this site is not available and their website Cherronline.co shows this welcoming message:
Perhaps they couldn’t afford the R140 million price tag to build their own site ?
When I looked up the domain name, It looks like this domain was registered back on 4th May 2011 and was last updated on 25th October 2012. It is traced back to Peter Meintjes of Afrihost. I am not sure if this is a standard practice for AfriHost to use their Operations Director as the Registrant, Administrative and Technical contact when registering all domains with AfriHost or just this one. However when I looked up other companies hosting with Afrihost they did not seem to have Peter’s name on their Domain record.
The people are disgusted
The real question is WHAT NOW ?
Even though there is now statements saying that the site was in fact R40 million and not R140 million, we know this is still ludicrous. We know that there is no justification of these prices. We know that a tender process was followed so all should be above board but clearly is not.
Someone had to see a document, see R140 million, think this is REASONABLE and sign the procurement order. It didn’t just happen by osmosis.
ITweb has just reported that the DA has called for a probe.
I wait to see what the outcome of this would be but I fear I know the answer.
Related: I probe even deeper into the site and am shocked at what I find read more here