South Africa: Government biometrics contracts raises mismanagement concerns

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has allayed fears that the country’s digital ID system is being delayed so as to accommodate a preferred contractor. The project, known as the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), had been awarded to technology services company EOH. EOH has been facing internal challenges and has risked being fined for delaying the contract. 

There have been reports of French company IDEMIA, which is the technical subcontractor in the EOH contract, taking over the ABIS project. It would however face difficulties under local laws, as it is headquartered in France.