My 2 Cents on the R40 million website debacle

I’ve been monitoring the progress on the whole R40 million website debacle over the last week or so. In case you’ve been living under a rock, a while ago reports surfaced in the media about the Free State provincial government paying a company that amount to develop a simple WordPress site.

Free State Website

According to News 24, the consortium of Cherry-Online-Ikamva-Juggernaut had been appointed to deal with the design, research, content development and generation of the Free State Website. This company was awarded the tender even though two other companies allegedly submitted significantly lower bids. The best thing of it all is that this R40 million website was developed on WordPress and the template used to the site cost only $40 (Just over R300).

Even though the Free State government claims that it’s for 38 websites, instead of one, it’s still a rip off.  If you paying for a R40 million website it better be spectacular, or there might be something wrong with you. The agreement was signed with businessman Tumi Ntsele, who reportedly holds tenders with several other provincial departments. Ntsele told the media that opposition parties had an agenda against black businessmen and that the website’s cost was fair.

E-News actually managed to develop the same website in about 2 hours. Check this news report clip below if you don’t believe me

To put things in retrospect, this blog (Running Wolf’s Rant) has been running for nearly four and a half years. At the moment I’m paying R450 a month for hosting on a VPS server. Besides this I bought 2 themes (Thesis and Headway) during the course of the last 2 years and they cost me roughly R1400. I’m on a VPS server because shared WordPress hosting servers could not handle the server load that my blog generates. I must say that I’m pretty happy with the speed and efficiency of my blog on my own VPS. Even though I generate more than 50,000 pageviews a month on this blog, I’ve never felt the urge to pay a web designer for a revamp, I just do things myself and I will never pay a company R40 million to develop any future blog(s) that I have in mind.

Dear Mr Ntsele, if this was fair, I’d like to design WordPress sites for living. I’d also like to make R3.5 million profit a month for something that didn’t even cost R400 to develop. You must be the best paid developer in South Africa. I have a LOT of friends that work in the IT industry and none of them are that lucky.

Corruption is killing this country. The South African government should really look at what kind of money is being spent on things. I think the whole tender system is just fueling the corruption. It’s bad enough that we now pay over R13 a liter of petrol and that some government ministers and officials are upgrading their houses for anything between R2 million and R7.5 million. Now we have R40 million (or R140 million) websites too, what’s next?

Feel free to comment on this article and provide me with your opinion about this. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Matt Black

    The best comment I saw around this is that we don’t need more money, we just need to stop wasting what we have.
    If the Free State had developed a massive intranet/website/payment portal project and all the bells and whistles, we might stomach a R10 million bill (thats reportedly what it would cost to do a site for a major bank). But no. We piss around and thats ok because it will be our children’s problem and we will be old and retired (rich) or dead.
    Its this behaviour that nearly killed the American car industry in the late 1970’s. “We’ll rape and pillage now, the next generation will sort it out.” Well, some of those in power were still around when the shit hit the fan at Chrysler in 1978 and only because of all the jobs on the line did they receive a bailout.

    The people of this country, both rich and poor are getting fed up with R40 million WordPress sites and no textbooks. I’m somewhat scared but rather excited to see how things get sorted out with this corrupt mess of a government vs the ppl.

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