A few years ago (maybe 10 years), many of us in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement criticised the South African Government for the way in which it was going about its Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) initiative. Firstly, it looked as though it was flouting its own FOSS policy, it was skipping the opportunity to strengthen the software industry in South Africa, and putting responsibility in a parastatal that was known to be incompetent.
The last conversation I had regarding IFMS was in 2011 or 2012, and I left weeping for what was lost to our country.
Now it seems that things are much worse than even we imagined. Watch the ANN7 investigative reporting video and weep with me. Weep for South Africa.
I don’t know if this is corruption, neglect or incompetence, but I expect that it is all three. Yet another opportunity wasted, squandered away like it didn’t matter.
Note: there are a lot of red herrings, and unjustified assertions made in the video, but at the core of it is the fact that IFMS is a big mess-up. This is what I want to highlight.