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Concern over high vacancy rate at Dept of Correctional Services in the Eastern Cape

Jun 27, 2017
Concern over high vacancy rate at Dept of Correctional Services in the Eastern Cape

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Tuesday expressed concern about the high vacancy rate in the Department of Correctional Services in the Eastern Cape.

The Acting Committee Chairperson, Chana Pilane-Majake said that it was unfortunate for a government department to sit with so many unfilled posts (510) while a high number of citizens were looking for jobs.

“We live in a country that continues to grapple with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality and people are getting angry because of these frustrations. Let’s make sure that every vacant position becomes an opportunity for someone without a job in South Africa,” she told senior management of the Department of Correctional Services in the province.

The Committee is spending two days in the province visiting correctional centres to assess the conditions in facilities in the province.

On Monday, the Committee visited the East London Correctional Centre for female offenders to interact with management and offenders.

While Members of Parliament were relatively impressed with the conditions of the facility, they raised concerns about awaiting trial offenders who were kept in the centre because they could not raise small bail amounts, some as little as R300.

“The whole issue of remand detainees continues to be a challenge countrywide. They become too expensive for the state and contribute to bed shortages. We need to look for a possible solution,” said Pilane-Majake

The Committee would visit St Albans Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.