Friday, February 18, 2011

Home Affairs denies GijimaAST payout

Home Affairs denies GijimaAST payout
Feb 18 2011 14:25

I-Net Bridge
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Cape Town - Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Friday said a report that ICT firm GijimaAST had received a R2bn settlement with her department was "totally untrue".

At a parliamentary press briefing, Dlamini-Zuma refuted an article in The Times newspaper which claimed that JSE-listed GijimaAST was "negotiating a payment of billions from the government - for work it had failed to complete".

Dlamini-Zuma said that the IT system referred to, which is called Who Am I Online, was intended to revamp the entire IT system of the department.

The original cost for the system was R1.5bn, but missed deadlines and soaring costs meant that the final bill would have been in the region of R4bn.

Last year, the department of home affairs cancelled the contract with GijimaAST and then entered into a round of negotiations aiming at a settlement.

"We will reveal more about the settlement in coming days. But I can say that the article ... is totally untrue," Dlamini-Zuma said.

She said that her department wanted the matter settled as soon as possible so that it could continue to implement the system upgrades it needed.

"Until we have a settlement, we cannot continue with data capturing and begin other projects such as smart (ID) cards," she said.

GijimaAST's share price was at 70 cents on the JSE in Friday afternoon trade from a previous close of 72c, a fall of 2.78%.

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Johannesburg - ICT services group Gijima [JSE:GIJ] AST said on Friday it has signed a contract with the South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) for the implementation of the Gauteng Open Road Tolling (ORT) System.

The tolling system forms part of the multi-billion rand Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) currently under way by the department. The tolling system will provide automated systems for levying tolls on Gauteng roads and is scheduled for launch in 2011.

According to Sanral, the GFIP will add about R29bn to the South African economy and about R13bn into the provisional gross geographic product, creating nearly 30 000 direct jobs over its lifecycle.

In a statement released on Friday Guilluame Snyders, program director of GijimaAST, said the ORT system consists of four components for roadside, back office, transaction clearing and customer service systems.

He added that Oracle software and database administration services will also be supplied directly by GijimaAST for use in the system.

"GijimaAst will deliver all ICT infrastructure products and services required for the ORT solution. This includes the delivery and installation of hardware, commercial off-the-shelf software and desktop support services, and the design and implementation of the support network solution," said Snyders.

"We will also facilitate the call desk services for the ICT infrastructure of the ORT system during the operations phase, as well as hosting services, which include data security, disaster recovery and operations services."

A new business unit within GijimaAST's managed services division has been created to focus on the Sanral tender.

After having lost a multi-billion rand contract with the department of home affairs in April, GijimaAST will be relieved to have another weighty public sector contract on the books.


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