South Africa’s DigiTech ‘app store’ looks like an 8th grade IT project


Democratic Alliance spokeswoman on telecommunications and digital technologies, Solly Malatsi, ripped into the government’s new DigiTech platform, saying it looks like a high school student could have developed it.

Communications Minister Khumbudzo Nthsavheni launched DigiTech on May 17, 2022 to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

“DigiTech serves as a digital distribution service developed, maintained and operated by the South African government,” Nthsavheni said.

“The platform allows users to browse and download applications developed on all operating systems.”

the Digi Tech website presents the platform as a portal for digital products from South Africa, supported by the Department of Communications and Digital Technology.

Its objective is to collect data on digital products developed in South Africa, promote and expand their adoption and use.

“Through DigiTech, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies seeks to promote digital products developed by SA in other markets while facilitating partnerships with other countries on the co-promotion of local technologies,” he said. -he.

When MyBroadband visited DigiTech’s website, its “marketplace” offered nothing more than a grid of YouTube videos.

These videos were poorly integrated, showing only the left side of the frame.

One of the YouTube videos was an 8-minute teaser for the new season of Stranger Things – a Stephen King-inspired sci-fi horror series on Netflix.

Furthermore, the site does not use a secure connection (HTTPS) to transfer data, even for its registration and login forms.

Screenshot DigiTech Marketplace (Click to enlarge)

Malatsi said the DA will submit parliamentary questions to determine who is the developer of the site, how much he was paid and how much it will cost to maintain the site.

The DA also wants to know if the ministry is satisfied with the quality of this website.

“There are no links to download the app or any additional information provided about the apps,” Malatsi said.

“This falls woefully short of what the Department promised for this website and indicates a serious lack of skill in its design and construction.”

Malatsi said DigiTech’s website doesn’t perform 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 project is ominously reminiscent of the Free State website scandal in 2013, when it turned out that the The Free State government had spent R40 million on its website,” he said.

“The National Treasury has finally requested that criminal proceedings be taken against those involved in the tenders awarded to the development company that won the tender for the site.”

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