Free State govt: We paid R40m for website

Bloemfontein - The Free State government paid R40m and not R140m to have its website redesigned, the provincial government’s director general said on Monday.

Director general Elzabe Rockman signed a three-year contract to redesign the website in 2011, the Sowetan reported. But Rockman has disputed this amount, claiming R40m was paid.

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

The company was awarded the tender even though two other companies allegedly submitted significantly lower bids.

Etienne Bruwer, owner of web development company Jam Factory, told the newspaper the amount charged for the website was “ridiculous”.

“The company that is working on that site is probably making R3.5m profit a month,” he said.

Bruwer said the most paid for a website was R12m, by financial institutions which needed to protect sensitive information.

Ntsele told the newspaper opposition parties had an agenda against black businessmen and that the website’s cost was fair.

The website is powered by Wordpress which is a free blogging platform and according to developers is based on a theme called “London Live Wordpress Theme” which costs only $40.

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