Digitech 2.0: Social Development streaming website another failed vanity project

Issued by Alexandra Abrahams MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development
14 Jul 2023 in News
  • The Department of Social Development’s plan to launch a streaming site called DSDTV at a high monthly cost is disrespectful to the vulnerable and poor people it aims to serve.
  • The streaming site is reminiscent of the Digitech website, which was costly and ineffective even after a supposed overhaul.
  • The DA calls for transparency regarding the amount spent, feasibility studies, pilot costs, and details of the development contract. 

The Department of Social Development’s hare-brained scheme to launch a streaming site at a cost of R81 250 a month is extremely disrespectful to the vulnerable and poor people it’s meant to serve.

This site, DSDTV, will be nothing more than another ANC government white elephant – a Digitech 2.0 designed at exorbitant cost to the taxpayers that still does not work more than a year after it was first launched and after a R750 000 supposed overhaul.

Instead of finding ways to meaningful connect with vulnerable groups like grant beneficiaries – many of whom do not have the means to access the new website – and spending money to ensure they receive their social grants in a regular and timely manner, or using the funds to fight corruption and looting within her ranks, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu not only approved this monumental wasteful expenditure, but proudly announced it and further unpacked it in answer to a written parliamentary question from the DA.

The DA will submit follow-up questions to the Minister. We need to know how much money has been spent already, whether a study had been done on the feasibility and need for the website, the full cost of the 12-month pilot, and the details of the development contract. We will also request the decision record.

Government’s insistence on wasting vast quantities of money on vanity projects instead of addressing the country’s myriad problems shows how out of touch and callous they are. A government whose only ideas centre on wealth creation for cronies and cadres.

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