Gauteng prisons require urgent maintenance after ‘unsatisfactory’ rating
Every prison head expressed great frustration at the long wait they endured or appointed contractors not completing the job, inspecting judge Johann van der Westhuizen said
All 11 inspected prisons in Gauteng have been found to be unsatisfactory, according to a report by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS).
The report was released on Thursday in Pretoria. Its inspectors visited 81 correctional centres during the 2017-2018 financial year.
The recent inspections of prison structures‚ including housing units‚ ablution areas‚ plumbing (running water‚ geyser systems)‚ electrical supply‚ kitchens‚ and medical areas‚ showed that 54 of the 81 facilities required urgent maintenance.
SA’s 243 correctional centres accommodate more than 160‚000 inmates‚ including more than 16‚000 who are serving life sentences. Owing to financial and staff constraints‚ JICS is only able to visit each of these centres once every three years.
In Gauteng, 100% of the 11 inspections recorded the need for urgent maintenance. In the Northern Cape and Free State, 15 of the 19 facilities inspected were unsatisfactory.
Five of the seven facilities in Limpopo‚ Mpumalanga and the North West management region were unsatisfactory. In the Western Cape, eight of 16 facilities were unsatisfactory and seven of 13 in the Eastern Cape. KwaZulu-Natal saw the best figures as only four of the 15 facilities inspected were found to be unsatisfactory.
"Without fail every correctional centre head expressed great frustration at either the long wait they endured‚ or appointed contractors not completing the job or rendering poor workmanship," inspecting judge Johann Vincent van der Westhuizen said.