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Security threat lingers over disabled bio-metric systems


JOHANNESBURG – An employer association in the private security sector has raised concerns over the disabling of bio-metric systems as South Africa strove to curb the spread of Covid-19 amid an outbreak. 

A number of people have disabled bio-metric systems in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed the lives of 8,275 people worldwide with over 204,840 battling infection.

Jones Maphalaphathwa, president of the The Association of Private Security Owners of SA (Tapsosa) warned the disabling of bio-metric systems leaves homes and businesses vulnerable. 

“You would have realised that in a number of areas, people have disabled bio-metric systems when entering buildings and facilities. That, to us, is a very serious concern because it creates a security threat,” Maphalaphathwa said. 

The number of confirmed cases in the country had peaked at 116 by midday on Wednesday. 

Although TAPSOSA highlighted the risks associated with disabling bio-metric systems, Maphalaphathwa said they welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on what Cabinet would be doing to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

“The president declared the corona virus as a national disaster and required us to contribute to the integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism to reduce the spread of the virus,” he said, adding that a united approach was necessary. 

Maphalaphathwa added that while the jobs of security officers left them most vulnerable due to their contact with people in various places, private security company owners had to implement mitigation measures to curb the possible spread of the virus.

“We are calling on all private security employers to take an active role by putting in place mitigation measures,” he said.

Security officers are the point of entry at our borders, ports, airports, shopping malls, hospitals, train stations, public and private properties. Their job puts them in contact with many people, which places them at the most vulnerable position.

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