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:

Managing staff effectively
September 2019, dormakaba South Africa, iPulse Systems , Integrated Solutions, Access Control & Identity Management
Workforce management solutions allow organisations to track the relationship between productivity and the cost of employment, incorporating issues such as health and safety, T&A, rostering and more.

Read more...
Hennie Lategan joins Centurion as head of exports
September 2019, Centurion Systems , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Centurion Systems has announced the appointment of Hennie Lategan as the head of the company’s exports department.

Read more...
New AlproMAX7 secures maximum rating
September 2019 , Access Control & Identity Management, Products
Alpro has launched a new range of ultra-secure mechanical mortice deadlocks, the AlproMAX7 which comply with BS EN 12209.

Read more...
ViRDI UBio Tab 5
September 2019 , Access Control & Identity Management, Products
ViRDI Distribution SA (ViRDI Africa) has announced the release of its long-awaited UBio Tablet to the South African market.

Read more...
Visitor access control at Ruimsig Country Club
September 2019, Elvey Security Technologies , Access Control & Identity Management, Products
Cost-effective access control solution that would control the ingress and egress of people, without hindering the traffic throughput of members.

Read more...
Estate-focused visitor management solution
September 2019, Vox Telecom , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Vox has expanded its cloud-based visitor management solution to cater specifically for the needs of small multi-dwelling unit estates and large residential estates.

Read more...
Biometrics control airport railroad
September 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management
63 km railroad to Incheon Airport is centrally controlled and secured by Suprema biometric hardware and software.

Read more...
Dual energy X-ray inspection system
September 2019, Regal Distributors SA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The ZKX6550 X-ray inspection system increases the operator's ability to identify potential threats; the device is designed to scan briefcases, carry-on baggage, small cargo parcels.

Read more...
ZKTeco parking barrier
September 2019, Regal Distributors SA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The PB3000 parking barrier is an ideal automatic car park barrier for parking lot and security control; it can easily integrate with revenue collection and access control systems.

Read more...
ZKTeco automatic bollard
September 2019, Regal Distributors SA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The high-quality automatic bollard is used to protect security areas from vehicle intrusion; in case of power failure, the bollard can be lowered manually.

Read more...