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Free State
Mar 6 2013 12:18PM
Magashule to probe Free State govt website costs
The MEC's and the Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, during The New Age breakfast at the Bloemfontein City Hall. Picture: Maryna van Wyk
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Maryna van Wyk

Free State Premier Ace Magashule told delegates at The New Age Business Briefing on Wednesday that he will look into the “website” matter which dominated the media earlier this week, to determine whether there has been value for money.

Magashule said, following public concerns, that his provincial government had to look at "whether we received value for money".

 “We will once again commit ourselves to education, unemployment, health and crime. We still have a long way to go, but we will get there,” he said during his opening remarks.

Speaking during The New Age Business Briefing broadcast on SABC2’s Morning Live show in Bloemfontein, Magashule said the Free State government will ensure that communities get value for their money.

According to reports the Free State government was paying R40m for the development of a government website. Free State co-operative governance MEC Olley Mlamleli said at the same event that the province spent R47m re-engineering 38 provincial government websites. She said the deal included research, design, and content development.

The province said the total project, involving 38 websites, cost R24m in the 2011/2012 finance year, and would cost R23.8m in the 2012/13 financial year.

Since the start of the project in 2011 the Free State premier's department had spent about R14.8m on the project.

This formed part of the R23.8m budgeted for in 2012/2013. The rest of the R23.8 million would be financed by the provincial co-operative governance department.

The State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) was responsible for the hosting and security of the websites.

The consortium of Cherry-Online-Ikamva-Juggernaut, in association with various community radio stations, had been appointed to deal with the design, research, content development, and generation in the first phase of the project.

The second phase would bring community radio stations on board with continuous content development, and updating, and broadcasting of news and activities.

Magashule was joined by nine of his MEC’s;

  • Dan Kgothule, responsible for Sports, Arts and Culture,
  • Mamiki Qabathe, responsible for Economic Development, Tourism and Nature Conservation,
  • Sisi Mabe, responsible for Public Works,
  • Sisi Ntombela, responsible for Social Development,
  • Olly Mlamleli, responsible for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,
  • Mosebenzi Zwane, responsible for Agriculture and Health,
  • Butana Komphela, responsible for Police, Roads and Transport,
  • Tate Makgoe, responsible for Education,
  • And Seiso Mohai,  MEC responsible for Finance.

For the first time, guests and community members were seated in a packed City Hall to direct their questions to the Free State Executive Committee members.

The questions from the audience were mostly focussed on education and housing.

Additional reporting from Sapa

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