Save our jobs, plead 'desperate' EOH employees who provide 'essential services' to City of Joburg

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  • A group of EOH employees stationed at the City of Johannesburg for several years have written to the company's board and executive team pleading for their jobs to be saved. 
  • They are in the final week of their notice period before retrenchment. 
  • The letter comes as an IT support contract between EOH and the City of Johannesburg is set to terminate - but the employees feel management could have done more to ensure the contract continues.

A group of EOH employees has written to the company's board and executive team with a "sincere" and "desperate" plea to save their jobs, as the termination date of an IT support contract with the City of Johannesburg looms.

The letter, dated 21 April 2021, is written on behalf of a group of employees that have been stationed at the City of Johannesburg offices for several years, performing what they describe as "essential services required for the proper running and operation of CoJ".

The employees want the EOH executives and board to take action to ensure the company's City of Johannesburg IT support contract continues.

According to the letter, they are aggrieved that EOH has said it still intends to pursue government contracts, but, in their opinion, has not done enough to "pursue SAP Support opportunities" that would help save their jobs. They say the company has not been "leveraging its competitive advantage" strongly enough to ensure its contract is renewed.

It wants the retrenchment process halted.

'Billing crisis looming'

The team says it provides a highly specialised service to the City and that only it has the skills to support the customised SAP system implemented at the CoJ 13 years ago.

"If these services are not provided, the CoJ will experience billing and invoicing challenges that will lead to a new billing crisis in the City," the letter reads.

However, they are currently serving the final week of their notice period before retrenchment. A Section 189 process began just under three months ago.

"We write to you under severe duress and concern on the current situation that we face as the EOH SAP support team and request your consideration of our views tabled without prejudice and look forward to your intervention and assistance to protect our employment at EOH," the letter reads.

It describes "blood, sweat [and] sleepless nights" as well as "personal sacrifices", which the employees say helped the City of Johannesburg run smoothly.

On Wednesday, EOH agreed to pay back over R40 million from contracts awarded by the Department of Defence that were found by a Special Investigations Unit probe to be irregular.

Fin24 recently reported that according to EOH CEO Stephen van Coller, the company had turned a corner – notably having closed all "all the eight problematic public sector contracts that got it into trouble."

An additional request for comment has been sent to EOH. Should a response be received, this article will be updated.

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