When it comes to tenders, certain projects such as building roads, and providing medicine to clinics do indeed require specialist companies for service delivery, but for items such as governmental websites, there are far better options than awarding contracts to dodgy, overcharging 'tenderpreneurs'.
With regards to "Free State govt: We paid R40m for website" and the subsequent allegations that the firm tasked to deliver the website simply used a free blogging service and a $40, ready-made theme bought online used to give the site a professional feel, I simply have to voice my opinion on the alternate solutions.
My background is in bioinformatics, a poorly known field amongst the public, which brings together professionals from science, medicine, computer engineering, and mathematics, for applications such as analysing DNA and protein sequences to discover causes of disease. Treatments can then be suggested based on an individual's unique DNA make-up.
We often set up websites for other users all over the world to use our specific methods and solutions to such problems. These websites are built from scratch, usually by students completing Honours, Masters or PhD degrees in either bioinformatics, or computer engineering. They are professional, work perfectly, and are maintained over the years either by staff, or new students that enter the course.
In the case of this Free State government website, instead of tendering the contract to businesses, why did the department not rather "tender" it to universities. Many of our students across all fields related to website design and development do part-time contract work for large private firms. A colleague of mine last year re-designed and built an entire online webstore for a company in his private time, complete with secure online banking, and was paid R150 per hour, for a total of no more than 3 weeks worth of work. R150 x 5 hours per day x 15 working days = R11 250.
The tender to universities for a governmental website could be carried out as a sort of contest, with the winning student(s) responsible receiving R25 000, and the institution receiving R1 million, or R5 million, or hey, if they really want to spend so much money, R10 million, to be put into a bursary fund for underprivileged students, for example in this case, specifically from Free State, to attend university at the winning institution. The money spent would come from the Free State government's budget for website design, so no "extra" money would need to be found.
That way, students at university could gain extremely valuable experience to add to their CVs; the government department requesting the website gets to choose between a dozen or so well-made websites from the various universities across the country, and potentially hundreds of underprivileged students get to go to university through the bursary fund, instead of one man, Tumi Ntsele in this case, making a ridiculous amount of money for what is not a very difficult task.
Tenderpreneurship has poisoned this country.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.