Overcrowding in SA Prisons Requires Long-term Solutions

30 August 2013    


The IFP calls on the Minster of Correctional Services, Sibusiso Ndebele, to urgently come up with long-term solutions to combat overcrowding in South African prisons.


IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, MP, said, “Prison overcrowding is an entrenched problem and its solutions require careful work and strong political will. More money for more prison cells alone is not a viable solution and is neither fiscally responsible nor sustainable. There is great need for long-term solutions and strategies that adequately address this challenge in a realistic manner.


Prison overcrowding is sometimes caused by a slow court system which as a result increases the number of remand or non-sentenced prisoners substantially.


The Integrated Justice Centre must consider new strategies regarding the mobility of judges in order to reduce awaiting trial periods and assist in eliminating the overcrowding in our correctional centres. Three to four years ago there was no such overcrowding in our correctional centres and I recall former ministers Ben Skosana and Ngconde Balfour working around the clock, assisted by IJC to eliminate the overcrowding. Therefore, we are proposing that mobile courts be instituted in order to reduce overcrowding,” said Ndlovu.


Ndlovu further stated that, “We urge the three departments to work together, namely, the police by doing proper and thorough investigations, the judiciary in prosecuting and correctional services in rehabilitating offenders who need to be re-integrated into our communities,” concluded Ndlovu.


The IFP believes that there must be a programme of organised volunteer lawyers to help inmates with bail hearings and reduce the amount of time it takes for cases to be tried.



Issued by:

IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu MP, 083 625 0803


Or contact 

IFP Parliamentary Media Liaison Officer, Mr Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675