City resolves dispute with internet service provider
“Following the rigorous work undertaken by our IT department (GICT) to get to the bottom of the cyber-attack, I can confidently state that our systems have now been fully restored and it will soon be business as usual for the City of Johannesburg.
However, the City experienced a few challenges regarding the distribution of statements on November 5. This was due to a contractual dispute between the City and its Internet Service Provider (ISP), Dimension Data, which led to the suspension of all its network-dependent applications. It must be noted however, that this dispute with the service provider had nothing to do with the recent cyber-attack on the City’s network.
The City has now reached a settlement with the ISP and all services have been restored, except the City’s call centre, which will take slightly longer due to the system upgrading process. We expect these services to be up and running again by the end of the week.
Customers will also be able to receive their monthly statements via email and other conventional methods of their choice. The City would like to apologise to all our customers and all who have been affected by this unfortunate incident.
In the meantime, we urge our customers to continue paying their bills via alternative means such as EFT; EasyPay outlets (Pick ‘n Pay and Checkers) or the Post Office.
For the record, the dispute with the ISP had nothing to do with the recent cyber-attack on the City’s network, which we experienced from Thursday, October 24.
The City will continue with the massive task ahead – that of advancing Diphetogo, delivering the much needed services to the residents of Joburg.
Last year, GICT embarked on a robust process of upgrading its legacy systems. The implementation of this project will ultimately ensure the full integration of our systems – leading to the final switch over to the Diphetogo SAP programme and other system-related upgrades. These upgrades will also enable us to operate a state-of-the-art call centre – inline with international trends.
In the coming months, GICT will also be working on the implementation of its Cyber Security Policy, which was approved in September this year. The City will also be concurrently conducting training with staff while testing is undertaken to ensure the efficacy of these interventions. This will go a long way in protecting the City from any future infiltration of its network.
None of our internal revenue systems were affected by the hacking. Our billing system is also up to date and ready for the next billing cycle.
As I indicated in my last statement, the City has not paid any ransom to the hackers. The deadline that was set came and went without any incident. To date, there have been no further demands advanced to us.”
Note to the editors:
The dispute with Dimension Data arose from a legacy contract which the City entered into with the ISP dating back to 2011. The contract was extended multiple times via section 116 (3) of the MFMA.
A new contract was signed in June 2016 along with a subsequent Service Level Agreement (SLA); signed by the then Group Executive Director responsible for IT. The said SLA extended services over and above the scope of the approved contract; and services continued to be rendered and invoiced in-line with the SLA. This resulted in a protracted legal dispute.
Issued on behalf of: