National Assembly: 25 March 2010
The Department of Correctional Services has
the primary responsibility of incarcerating some 161000 criminal
offenders, and a secondary, and some may say even greater
responsibility of rehabilitating those offenders at some future
point back into South African society as responsible and law-abiding
In order to accomplish these tasks
successfully the department requires strategic leadership and a
goal-orientated approach to it's various programmes and objectives.
In essence it requires a very competent leader with a 'no-nonsense'
and a somewhat business 'unusual' approach in being able to deal
successfully with her mandate. The Minister has the presidentially
ordained position of ensuring an organized, efficient and competent
department. We in the IFP hope that Minister Mapisa-Nqakula will be
equal to this task.
We note that in the past there have been
instances of unauthorized expenditure and non-compliance with
legislation caused by insufficient monitoring and guidance by senior
management from within the department . We trust that the Minister
will not run the department in the casual manner of her predecessor,
Mr Balfour and that problems like these will be things of the past.
The IFP is extremely concerned about the
corporate culture that seems to be developing amongst the DCS prison
staff, namely that of absenteeism, alcoholism, fraud and corruption.
These are serious issues which can have profound knock-on effects in
terms of how the prisons are run as well as the overall safety of
the in-mates, the prison staff and the general public and we
accordingly urge the Minister to pay careful attention to and
immediately put in place measures to address these disturbing
Another concern of the IFP that we note from
the budget is that insufficient resources are being deployed in the
development and social re-integration projects, in fact only 16% of
the budget is allocated to these programmes.
The IFP strongly believes these programmes
to be "non-negotiable essentials for rehabilitation " especially
when set against the background of the high levels of repeat
offenders that we have in our country, and we therefore ask the
Minister look very seriously at this aspect of her portfolio .
In accordance with the White paper and the
Presidents State of the Nation address the DCS has been tasked with
the responsibility of making South Africans "Feel and Be safe". In
the 2008/9 period there were 65 escapes and to date for this period
there have been a number of further escapes. This is quite
unacceptable and does not make our citizens "Feel or Be safe".
On the issue of tenders and in particular
the tender for the new generation prison in Kimberley we would like
to caution the Dept to "Look before they leap" in the future, and to
conduct their due diligence so that we do not have a repeat fiasco
of a project tender increase of some 260% as we now have with the
new generation prison in Kimberley .This is negligence of the
highest order on the part of the department and we trust that the
Minister will ensure that a situation like this does not occur again
The policy of releasing offenders should be
known and understood by everybody and the same criteria should apply
to all inmates not only those with friends in high government
And lastly Minister, looking at your
strategic plan we note that you have set yourselves some very lofty
We in the IFP wish you every success
achieving these goals for as you know, failure will come at a high
price to the country and is not an option.
The IFP supports the Budget Vote.
Mr V B Ndlovu MP