Transnet 'pleased and relieved' by breakthrough in Gijima impasse | Fin24
 
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Transnet 'pleased and relieved' by breakthrough in Gijima impasse

Mar 28 2019 21:58
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

Transnet announced on Thursday that it had finally reached an agreement with tech company Gijima, in a dispute that had made its way to the South Gauteng High Court in 2017.

The freight rail utility said it had issued Gijima with a letter of intent relating to a five-year contract to provide IT data services. 

Transnet says this followed a number of fruitful engagements between the two companies on the IT Data Services contract, estimated at R1.3bn, for a period of five years.

The dispute has been ongoing for several years, with Gijima arguing that Transnet had unlawfully awarded the contract to T-systems, and that Gijima had been a victim of the unlawful transaction. The T-Systems contract expired earlier this month.

'Clean governance'

The South Gauteng High Court cited minutes from a meeting of Transnet's acquisition and disposals committee to conclude that former Transnet chair Stanley Shane was heavily in favour of T-Systems getting the deal, adding that he had also been linked to the Gupta family's state capture activities.

T-Systems is also said to have a close relationship with Sechaba, a company that has also been linked to the Guptas.

Transnet went to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for the declaratory order clarifying the legal standing of the letter of intent to award the contract to T-Systems in October of 2017.

In a statement released on Thursday, Transnet said the decision to issue the letter of intent was taken after deliberations on procurement processes "as part of the clean governance approach adopted by the new board of directors at Transnet".

'Pleased and relieved'

"In executing its mandate, the Board had commissioned an internal assessment on this contract and continues to ask management to carry out risk evaluation exercises on all major contracts," the statement said.

In the statement Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe said he and the board were pleased and relieved to see the matter resolved.

"A process of disengagement from T-Systems will commence shortly, with Gijima becoming the IT service provider for Transnet. In this regard, a handover process from T-Systems to Gijima will be effected," said Morwe.

Gijima’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Maphum Nxumalo, said the company felt vindicated after a long fight for a "fair and unbiased Transnet public tender system".

"In the process Gijima spent tens of millions of rands whilst fighting for justice and transformation resulting in a Court Order granted on 12 December 2018. Since then, T-Systems' contract expired on 8 March 2019. 

"Gijima is ready to begin executing the contract with significant cost savings and innovation for the benefit of Transnet and the country," said Nxumalo.

In the statement Transnet denied past reports and claims that it was using the court system to undermine Gijima’s right to bid fairly and competitively for the contract.

transnet  |  gijima  |  south gauteng high court
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