JSE-listed technology services group Gijima is still in talks with government to resolve a dispute over the validity of the R2,5bn “Who Am I Online” contract.
However, the company may head to court if discussions remain deadlocked.
In a statement to shareholders on Tuesday, Gijima said it was hoping to find a solution to government’s concerns about whether it would continue with the technology implementation for the department of home affairs.
“Gijima remains committed to pursuing a commercial resolution in order to avoid litigation to resolve the dispute,” the statement says.
In a surprise move earlier this year, the department cancelled Gijima’s involvement in the project, saying the contract was not valid.
The contract involves a modernisation of home affairs’s IT systems. It’s Gijima’s largest deal with government and makes up 15% of the group’s annual revenue.
The system was also expected to link into the Home Affairs National Identification System (Hanis), which would in turn have provided information to the police, the national healthcare service and emergency services.
The project has been riddled with controversy since its inception in 2007 and has faced spiralling costs from the start. The original bid was valued at R1,9bn.
Since April, Gijima has maintained that the contract is valid and has consulted legal advice on the matter. Government has never indicated why the contract was declared invalid.
Gijima says it has “fulfilled its obligations and continues to perform in terms of the contract with an extensive and experienced team dedicated full-time to the project”.
The group can approach the high court for a declaratory order to confirm the validity of the contract. Gijima indicated previously that it would consider all available options to keep the contract alive.
Gijima is working with international companies, including IBM, Siemens and identity management specialist Daon, to provide services to home affairs. The group’s share price was trading down 2,2% at lunchtime on Tuesday. — Candice Jones, TechCentral