African farm workers beat US Homeland Security to biometric identification

February 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

Long before the first USA-bound traveller scanned their finger in the US Department of Homeland Security's much trumpeted biometric security system, farm workers in rural South Africa were using biometrics to clock in for work each morning.

The 100+ workers on De Wet Thirion's grape farm near Upington in the Northern Cape, scan their finger when they arrive at and leave work each day.

The biometric time and attendance system developed by TransmetriX, a Cape Town IT company, identifies each employee and the time at which they scanned, enabling the prompt and accurate calculation of their weekly wage. It also alerts the employer to any absentees, allowing them to bring in additional labour if necessary.

The farm, which grows over 1000 tonnes of grapes each year, deployed the SuperVision system after using a number of other methods to record the attendance of their seasonal employees.

According to Thirion, the biometric fingerprint scanner is simpler for employees to use and more cost-effective and accurate than the token-based systems previously employed by the farm. "We have had problems in the past, monitoring who is and who is not at work", said Thirion. "We need to pack and distribute our grapes as quickly as possible (optimising the supply chain) to ensure they are fresh when they arrive in the shops. Even having one member of staff arrive late can disrupt the whole packing line. TransmetriX's system alerts us if people have not appeared, ensuring we are able to bring in replacement labour quickly."

Jakes Redelinghuys, technical director of TransmetriX, is confident that the use of biometric systems will spread quickly. "Biometrics is not limited to Western governments' highly expensive security arrangements. Low cost systems, such as our SuperVision system, have just as important and valid a role in helping to improve labour productivity in develop- ing countries such as South Africa." Continued Redelinghuys, "Statistics from the USA indicate that paying absent workers and other payroll and productivity inefficiencies can add 15% to a company's wage bill. By eliminating this time fraud and improving their labour management, companies can expect to see a very significant improvement in their bottom line. In today's global economy, margins are tight and a system such as this might make the difference between business survival and failure."

For more information contact James Redelinghuys, TransmetriX, 021 552 9412, info@transmetrix.co.za, www.transmetrix.co.za





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Paxton10 for smart buildings
Issue 5 2020, Paxton Access , Access Control & Identity Management
Paxton10, offering access control and video management on one simple platform, is available in the South African market.

Read more...
Suprema enhances cybersecurity
Issue 5 2020, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management
Suprema BioStar 2 is a web-based, open and integrated security platform that provides comprehensive functionality for access control and time and attendance.

Read more...
A wizz at visitor management
Issue 5 2020 , Access Control & Identity Management
WizzPass is a locally developed software platform for managing visitors to businesses, buildings or business parks.

Read more...
Contactless at the game
Issue 5 2020, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management
IDEMIA partners with JAC to successfully test frictionless biometric access technology at Level5 Stadium in Japan.

Read more...
Focus on touchless biometrics
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Hikvision South Africa, Saflec, IDEMIA , Suprema, Technews Publishing , Access Control & Identity Management
The coronavirus has made touchless biometrics an important consideration for access control installations in estates and for industries globally.

Read more...
Providing peace of mind
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, ZKTeco , Access Control & Identity Management
Touchless technology embedded with face and palm recognition sensors provide 100% touchless user authentication for a variety of applications.

Read more...
Frictionless access with a wave from IDEMIA
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management
Platinum Sponsor IDEMIA displayed its frictionless biometric reader, the MorphoWave Compact, at the Residential Estate Security Conference.

Read more...
Cost effective without compromising security
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Bidvest Protea Coin , Access Control & Identity Management
Bidvest Protea Coin offers a range of services, all integrated to offer a future-proof and cost-effective security solution for estates.

Read more...
Broad range of estate solutions
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Hikvision South Africa , Access Control & Identity Management
Hikvision offers residential estates a range of systems and solutions that deliver security, from the gate to the individual’s own home.

Read more...
Excellerate looks beyond traditional guarding
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Excellerate Services , Access Control & Identity Management
Excellerate Services has a suite of best-of-breed technologies that have been integrated into a sophisticated SLA, incident and people management system.

Read more...