South African town uses biometrics for welfare
07 December 2018 10:10 GMT

The South African city of Gauteng has introduced a new system uses facial recognition and fingerprint readers to biometrically verify the identity of every beneficiary.

It will also record their attendance on site and the hours worked, and ultimately generate payment reports, reports local media.

MEC for infrastructure development, Jacob Mamobolo, explained to the City Press that the implementation of the new technology was vital and in line with Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s vision to make improvements within the department.

“This new system is not only about modernising the department or Gauteng as a whole. This is more importantly about making sure that the EPWP is run in the most efficient way without any element of corruption,” he said.

Introduced in 2004 under the administration of then president Thabo Mbeki, the EPWP was implemented in the various provinces as a way of alleviating poverty.

The main objective of the programme was to provide income relief through temporary work for the unemployed.

Spokesperson for the MEC, Theo Nkonki, told City Press: “The programme is concerned with those who are most vulnerable in society. It is for indigents who have no way of making a living. Our primary objective is to equip those within the programme with skills to make it in the world and until we believe they have acquired those skills, we will not let them go.”