“The cobbler’s children have no shoes”
Evidence of the technical expertise and sophistication that “justified” this cost is sadly lacking, since the site was built on a R360 Wordpress template. And, more particularly, since the web design company doesn’t even have a website!
I do understand how meeting the demands of paying clients can take precedence over one’s own marketing, but an internet “expert” that doesn’t have a website simply lacks credibility. Without clear examples of their work, it’s hard to imagine the basis on which the tender adjudication committee evaluated their expertise.
Tumi Ntsele, who owns a controlling share in the joint venture awarded the tender, also owns Letlaka Media & Communication Group which doesn’t have a website either. They do have a Facebook page where they claim to offer a wide variety of both print and online production – the only problem is that it’s not clear where.
Neither Letlaka nor Ntsele have any online profile other than Facebook (where they’ve posted exactly twice since they launched their page in 2011). They’re not on Twitter, nor LinkedIn, nor Google+. Okay, that’s not entirely true. @LetlakaMedia is on Twitter, but they haven’t tweeted even once.
I can’t even imagine the criteria used to determine their expertise. (Well, actually I can. But it might be defamatory to publish it.)
“Two full-time maintenance contractors, but no maintenance”
Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot wrong with the website too. Just for starters, the functionality isn’t great, with links leading to password-protected private blogs, 404 error messages (Page not found) and some links leading nowhere at all.
The writing is horrendous. Political mumbo jumbo that barely makes any sense. Who wrote this?
“The new integrated website presence of the broader government sector in the Free State province offers us the opportunity to engage with our stakeholders with up-to-date, relevant and user-friendly information, creating multiple platforms through which we can engage with constituencies.”
Pardon? How about “We’re delighted to launch our new web site, and hope that you find it interesting and useful.”
And then there’s the comments page. Right up to 1 March, almost every single comment was spam. (Which, since it’s a WordPress site, could easily have been avoided with a free anti-spam plug in.)
But this week there is a torrent of abuse in response to the publicity about the costs. And the comments have been left open allowing the vitriol and vulgarity to flourish. Where is the maintenance contract now?
“What is the ROI?”
Even though the quality of the website bears no relation to the price tag, the Free State Government might be forgiven for their extravagance if it was a huge hit, and was making a difference to the people, the economy or the administration of the Free State.
I obviously don’t have access to their Google Analytics but I do have access to a proprietary website analysis tool, which tells me that this site has had an average of 514 visitors per month.
Which works out to to roughly R5300 per visitor.