The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has unveiled a new biometric and facial recognition system that will help clean up the management of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the Province.

The “Identification Validation System” uses facial recognition and fingerprint readers to biometrically verify the identity of every EPWP beneficiary, record their attendance on site, the hours worked and ultimately generate payment reports.

Another level of technological innovation

Speaking at the launch MEC Jacob Mamabolo said that the system would address a range of weaknesses that have plagued EPWP in the past.

“The Auditor General has consistently highlighted concerns that the EPWP system was not secure enough and that there were too many loopholes allowing the system to be manipulated. We have worked for a long time to come up with a solution, and we have now we been able to add another level of technological innovation to our work here at GDID”, he said,” Mamabolo said.

The system cannot be compromised

A live demonstration with EPWP beneficiaries showed how beneficiaries will clock in and out at biometric kiosks on all 658 DID sites across the development corridors of the province. The new system is able to enrol a person’s biometric data in less than 5 minutes and authenticates identity in less than 5 seconds.

The system automatically links approved and contracted beneficiaries to a specific site and locks them out of sites where they are not approved to work.

The data feeds into the monitoring hub at Lutsinga Infrastructure House where it will automatically detect if a device is being tampered with, ensuring that the system cannot be compromised.

Unlocking opportunities

“By cleaning up EPWP, we will ensure that those who are intended to benefit from this programme are able to do so with dignity. They will no longer be at the mercy of those who have been able to hijack the programme for their own corrupt purposes,”Mamabolo highlighted.

He added that not only will the system assist with time and attendance management it will also streamline administration and hep the DID create opportunities for the community by keeping a record of candidate applications and matching those to suitable opportunities by marketing them to potential employers.