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BLOEMFONTEIN – Under fire Free State director general Elzabe Rockman this morning defended the province’s lavish R140 million website despite the fact that the home button on the navigation bar is projected to have cost more than an actual bricks-and-mortar home. The home button, part of a simple WordPress-based website constructed by Bloemfontein company Cherry Online Design, is one of only a few navigational or design elements on the site, giving it a high relative value in terms of the website’s overall cost. Experts say the incredibly lazy unbeveled, unembossed, rectangular button that doesn’t even feature a little icon of a house may have cost as much as R300 000, easily covering the estimated R80 000 cost of one actual low-cost dwelling.
But Rockman was quick to fire back at critics, saying that the true value of Cherry Online’s design was in the details. “Cherry Online imported high-precision cursors from Italy, which they said was important for effective pointing and clicking. There is also animation when you scroll over stuff, and like Cherry Online told me, animation doesn’t come cheap. Just look at Avatar.” It appears, though, that Free State Provincial authorities are concerned about allegations of wasteful expenditure. Rockman said that Cherry Online were in the process of setting up a R7 million Twitter account whereby the province could tackle public misconceptions of misspending head on.