South African agency’s biometrics system sees positive results

July 31, 2012 - 

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is moving in the right direction with the implementation of their new biometrics system. The agency has seen positive results in rooting out fraud and helping with better financial management. The CEO made the statements in the performance review workshop held last Friday.

Virginia Petersen is the current CEO and has mentioned that her priorities on appointment last year were to improve the grant payment system, better service delivery, achieve automation and a better audit of the agency. She also stated that the Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, will be announcing the audit results for the entire social development sector including the SASSA by next week. The announcement will cover the completion of the biometrics implementation phase.

The SASSA has started re-registering all social grant beneficiaries from all over the country so that they will be included in the new payment system. The new process involves data capturing along with the gathering of other personal data, biometric data such as fingerprinting of all 10 fingers and a photograph plus the issuance of the SASSA card.

The positive results seen with the new system is the weeding out of beneficiaries who were not qualified for the grant, some opted to voluntarily cancel theirs, identification of beneficiaries who are also drawing grants from outside the country, identifying those who were not registered in the population register and lastly, finding the duplicates in the system.

One of the agency’s main goals is to improve business processes and it continues to do just that by investing in the enhancement of its payment and information management systems respectively. Some of the notable changes in this area were the interfaces with other government systems, improved user access through biometric technology and automation of the grant application process.

Does automation in the SASSA equal to better transparency and faster business processing?

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About Arizona Mosley

Arizona Mosley writes full time for She is currently completing her Master's Degree in Public Governance at West Visayas State University. Follow her @Arizonamosley.