A group of long-serving EOH employees has approached the company’s executive team and board in a “desperate attempt” to save their jobs.
The employees urged the company to take action to continue its City of Johannesburg (COJ) IT support contract which is set to terminate at the end of the month.
These EOH employees are stationed in the offices of the City of Johannesburg to provide “critical and essential” SAP support services to the municipality.
The group said they have shown exceptional commitment to EOH and have made personal sacrifices for years. This, they said, has brought stability and enabled business continuity at the COJ.
“EOH has and continues to derive significant profit from the SAP support services at the COJ,” they added.
As the CoJ contract is coming to an end, these EOH employees have been subjected to a Section 189 retrenchment process.
“We are serving the last week of our notice period before we get retrenched,” the employees said.
The group feels let down by EOH for not pursuing a deal with the City and Johannesburg and trying to keep them employed.
According to the group, the COJ said in February 2021 that EOH would not take part in a competitive process followed by the city.
“When the city commences its bid process for the provision of SAP support services from 1 May 2021, EOH does not intend to submit a tender pursuant to such process,” the COJ said.
This, they argue, flies in the face of EOH’s recent statement that it wants to “solidify its business relationship with the state”.
EOH management has allegedly informed this group that the COJ has not gone out on public tender. Instead, it has released a request for quotation to a closed panel of service providers.
“We were further advised that EOH is not on the closed panel and was not aware of who the panel members are,” the group said.
EOH is now in the process of concluding a contract with Zimele, who is partnering with one of the panel members.
“We were advised that EOH is in discussion with Zimele to conclude a Section 197 resource transfer process,” they said.
“We are the only team with the requisite skills and onsite experience. It is public knowledge that neither the panel members nor Zimele are in a position to tender these services without EOH.”
The group said it is of concern that EOH is not engaging with the COJ or panel members and prefers to work Zimele.
The employees have urged EOH to cease the retrenchment process and urgently engage with the City of Johannesburg to follow a public tender process.
This approach, they said, will enable EOH to retain the skills and capability of its SAP support team and will provide customer coverage through rendering of essential and exclusive services to COJ,” they said.
Fatima Newman, EOH’s group risk officer, told MyBroadband they have received and noted the contents of the open letter.
“EOH can confirm that, as previously disclosed, and in terms of the City of Johannesburg (the City) support agreement, discussions have been underway for a period of time between EOH and the City,” she said.
“EOH is engaging with the employees and will assist with the transition in compliance with all contractual and labour regulations.”