R740,000 South Africa’s app website uses R950 template and “admin” for password

Jan Vermeulen - Digitech, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies’ “digital products portal”, was built using the $49 (R957) Martis theme for Drupal.

R740,000 South Africa’s app website uses R950 template and “admin” for password

An eagle-eyed MyBroadband forum member and our in-house engineer identified the Drupal template.

In addition, ITWeb reported that Digitech used “admin” for the administrator username and password.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed this, adding that the site’s developer says the issue has been fixed.

This comes after the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) revealed that it spent R743,644.95 to redesign the Digitech website.

Communications minister Mondli Gungubele (pictured above) provided the information in response to Parliamentary questions.

To add insult to injury, Digitech was offline on Monday morning.

“The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later,” the site returned when trying to visit it.

Based on the error message, the site is pointing to at least one file on a testing subdomain, beta.digitech.gov.za, which has been deleted.

The State Information Technology Agency handled the redesign of Digitech, a spokesperson for the department told MyBroadband.

App store with no apps and no store

Initially billed as an app store and marketplace for South African-developed digital products, the site currently has no way to download or purchase anything.

Digitech’s revamp follows backlash in May 2022 about the site’s poor design.

Not only did it look dated and amateurish, it also allowed anyone to sign up for an account and upload any “product” to the platform, complete with promotional images and YouTube videos.

It did not take long for South Africans to poke fun at the system by uploading inappropriate media to it.

In July 2022, then Minister of Communications, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said in response to a Parliamentary question that the site was being redesigned.

Ntshavheni also said it hadn’t cost a cent to develop the platform up to that point.

Nearly R750,000 and a year later, it’s not much better.


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