Msunduzi red-faced as website suspended for ‘lack of payment’

2017-11-23 14:12
Access denied. That's what greeted users of Msunduzi Municipality's website on Wednesday.

Access denied. That's what greeted users of Msunduzi Municipality's website on Wednesday. (Screenshot)

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Msunduzi Municipality has been left embarrassed after its website was suspended on Wednesday despite firm assurances this week that this would not happen.

At least two notices had previously appeared on www.msunduzi.gov.za, warning that the service provider had not been paid and threatening that the site would be shut down.

The first notice appeared on November 3 and the second one on November 15.

The Witness quoted municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha in Tuesday’s paper, blaming a “technical glitch” with regards to the payment of the service provider, but said the issue had been sorted out and the website would not be suspended.

On Wednesday, users of the website had a rude surprise as they were greeted with a red warning triangle around an exclamation mark and the words, “This website has been suspended by the service provider,” and a frozen site.

Mafumbatha told The Witness that the service provider implemented the suspension on the basis of alleged arrears by the municipality.

She said the validity of this claim was being investigated as a matter of urgency.

Mafumbatha said the City and the service provider had entered into a written agreement for the provision of hosting services in September and that the municipality “has been performing” in terms of the contract.

She apologised to the public for the inconvenience caused and said every effort would be made to restore access as soon as possible.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said the suspension of the website would haunt the city when the auditor- general (AG) assessed the city.

“Having an up and running website is not a courtesy, it is a compliance
matter.”

“Things such as budget, advertisements of posts and minutes of full council must be put up on the website so residents who do not get the chance to attend meetings can see how the city is planning to use their money. It is a legislated function.

“This is going to deny access to information to the ratepayers and residents of Msunduzi as they will be unable to keep track of how the city is spending their money,” he said.

Majola asked why the city had not cut its services to its debtors, whom he said were over the 180 days category, if the service provider can suspend the City’s website for non-payment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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