Budget Vote 20 -
Correctional Services

 

Delivered by Mr V B Ndlovu MP
 

National Assembly: 25 March 2010

 

Honourable Speaker

 

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 citizens.

 

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 traits.

 

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 office.

 

And lastly Minister, looking at your strategic plan we note that you have set yourselves some very lofty goals.

 

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.

 

 

Contact:
Mr V B Ndlovu MP
083 625-0803