Afriforum investigates R100 million Free State website tender

13 August 2013 - 12:19
By Sapa
A screengrab of the Free State government website
A screengrab of the Free State government website

An independent specialist will investigate a website tender for over R100 million awarded by the Free State government, civil rights organisation AfriForum said.

"The exorbitant amounts alone are worrying, and the further one reads through the documents, the clearer it becomes that there are too many discrepancies," Free State AfriForum organiser Cornelius Els said.

In March, the Sowetan reported that the Free State government had spent R140m on its website.

Free State director general Elzabe Rockman signed a three-year contract to redesign the website in 2011, the newspaper reported.

She had reportedly disputed the amount, claiming it was actually R40m.

The agreement was signed with businessman Tumi Ntsele, who reportedly held tenders with several other provincial departments.

Els said AfriForum had obtained the tender documents from the office of Free State premier Ace Magashule.

"Website developers have commented widely on the tender. According to these experts, even the most expensive, extensive, and interactive websites with strict security functions should not be more expensive than a few hundred thousand rand," said Els.

He said the tender was worth R119.6m.

"Since 2011 more than R70m has been spent, and R41m more will be spent during 2013/2014. This is a clear example of tax money being wasted."

He said the money could have been spent on the water crisis instead.