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Parliament proposes biometric system for MP attendance in South Africa


Parliament in South Africa has proposed a biometric solution to keep tabs on MPs and track attendance.

Reported in BusinessTech.co.za, the African National Congress (ANC) has backed the proposed system, which uses RFID chips to detect MPs as they enter or exit a chamber or committee room, and relies on thumbprint biometrics to track attendance.

Not everyone is on board with the proposal.

According to a report in BDLive, Watty Watson, chief whip for the Demoncratic Alliance said the party caucus rejected the idea, and added that “to be treated like sheep or cattle being counted is unacceptable.”

The proposed system is set to go live after next year’s election, at the start of the fifth Parliament. The system is reported to cost less than US$50,000 (R500,000).

South African ID cards are set to be rolled out this month.

Supplied by Gemalto, the new Sealys eID cards are set to replace the country’s traditional, paper-based ‘green book’ identity documentation. 

In addition, The Department of Basic Education in South Africa has plans for a massive project that would see 24,000 schools equipped with biometric clocking devices.

The project is believed to be the biggest of its kind and is set to be active in 2015. According to a report in MoneyWeb, this system has been devised in an attempt to address teacher absenteeism.


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