Government’s Digitech ‘app store’ looks like a Grade 8 IT project 

Issued by Solly Malatsi MP – DA Shadow Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Services
23 May 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Solly Malatsi MP 

The DA will be submitting Parliamentary questions to determine who the developer of the Department of Communications and Digital Technology’s newly-launched Digitech website was, how much it cost, how much the maintenance and upkeep of the website will cost and whether the Department is satisfied with the quality of this website.

DigiTech, described as a platform for digital products/applications developed by SMMEs in South Africa was launched at the Gallagher Convention Centre on 17 May. The Department stated that it will grant ‘unmatched and unparalleled’ opportunities to the country as a whole.

However, the website is of an extremely low quality, and does not fulfil the function of an ‘app store’ at all. In fact, embarrassingly it is merely a collection of embedded promotional Youtube videos, which show only the left half the video!

Furthermore, reports have stated that the registration page to list one’s app asks developers whether they understand the Foreign Trade Exchange act – a law which does not exist. Reports have also indicated that ID numbers provided on the website are insecure, and have been found to be leaked on different government websites. The website therefore appears to be highly unsecure for users.

What also really boggles the mind, is that the hit Netlflix Show “Stranger Things” appears as one of the Apps on the Marketplace page.

There are no links to download the app or any additional information provided about the apps. One must click through to the Youtube version of the app and hope to find a link the website of the developer there.

This falls woefully short of what the Department promised for this website, and indicates a serious lack of skill in its design and construction. The website does not fulfil the function of an app store at all, and instead serves only as a database of locally developed apps (and not a good one at that).

This website once more demonstrates the ANC’s complete incompetence and reckless wastage of taxpayer money.

This project is ominously reminiscent of the Free State website scandal in 2013 when it transpired that the Free State government had spent R40m on its website and where National Treasury eventually called for criminal charges to be laid against those involved in tenders awarded to development company that was awarded the tender for the site.

The DA will do everything in its power to prevent such a scandal from happening again and will therefore obtain all necessary information about the cost of this project.