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Pretoria - The Free State government is aware of an investigation by the National Treasury into its communications contracts, but says these have nothing to do with its controversial website.
The Treasury has set its sights on Free State and its investigation is expected also to look into the contracts awarded to the company that charged the Free State provincial government R47 million for its website design.
“We are aware. But it’s in no relation to the (website) contract. It focuses on events management and printing. I had nothing to do with that,” said Free State provincial spokesman Wisani Ngobeni.
He referred further queries about the investigation to the Treasury.
The Treasury did not comment on investigations that were under way, spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said.
DA Free State leader Patricia Kopane, DA provincial chairwoman Annelie Lotriet and caucus leader Roy Jankielsohn, are expected to provide more information on the Free State government’s spending on communication on Monday.
The party said it would give details about the relationship between the Free State premier’s office and Letlaka Communications.
Mondli Mvambi, the director of media strategy and liaison in the premier’s office, has said that the Free State initiated a project in 2011 to create an “integrated online presence” for the provincial and local governments.
Before the project, the Free State government and municipalities’ presence on line was fragmented and outdated, he said.
Thirty-eight re-engineered websites formed part of this project, Mvambi said.
The provincial government’s use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also included in the project. The 38 websites are those of the 11 provincial departments, three provincial public entities and 24 municipalities.
Mvambi said the project costs in 2011/12 had been R24m and those in 2012/13, R23.8m.
“Costs are shared between the department of the premier and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.”