Big Time Strategic Group, a company owned by a Zimbabwean businessperson, has come under scrutiny for an IT tender it was awarded by the North West municipality of Moses Kotane.
According to a report by the City Press, the Hawks are investigating the multi-million-rand tender – along with further contracts the company was awarded.
The report stated that the company was given a R67.8-million three-year tender for ICT services with proper processes not being followed in 2014.
“This was after it was allegedly irregularly awarded a tender to develop the ICT strategy in the first place,” stated the report.
It stated that Big Time was paid R70 million 10 months into the contract and has been paid R200 million to date.
It is also billing “millions of rand monthly” for services.
The report further stated Big Time received the following payments:
- R1.5 million a week for computer training for 80 Moses Kotane councillors.
- R9.3 million for developing a website.
Big Time stated that the company had supplied services and training to the municipality, but denied it was paid to develop a “website. It said it was a “web application” with several other functions. No details on the app could be provided.
Moses Kotane municipality told the City Press that the company was contracted to the municipality until 2020, and that the Hawks were investigating the matter.
While R9.3 million for a municipal web app may sounds ludicrous, it does not come close to what happened in the Free State in 2013.
The Free State government awarded R140 million for a new website to Letlaka Group in March 2013.
The Free State government disputed the figure at the time, saying that the total cost was closer to R40 million, and that the tender encompassed “38 re-engineered websites”.
It also included the provincial government’s utilisation of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it said.