Tag Archive | department of correctional services

Procurement plans for prisons detailed by minister

Correctional services minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, addressing parliamentarians during debate on the prisons budget in the National Assembly, said that a decision was taken to cancel the public-private partnership procurement (PPP) currently enforceable on present work but this did not exclude work on building future new prisons.

“The cancellation of the current procurement process does not exclude the future building of additional correctional facilities. The building and maintenance of correctional facilities insofar as capital costs are concerned might still be best provided by third parties.”

In her address, the minister indicated that the department of correctional services is involved in a large prison building programme with a consequent need for specialised high-tech equipment available from limited sources and skilled technical applications.

She told MPs that such a decision could be taken only once the department knew the best size of future facilities in relation type of prisoner and location. She said, “It is our view that the issue of size for our centres should be based on requirements, as opposed to the initial ideas that that any new facilities should be 3 000 bed capacity across the board.”

The department had recently concluded a process of consultative engagements with the construction industry to discuss further plans with regard to infrastructure roll-out.

A number of facilities have been approved for construction this year, which include three prisons for 500 in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape and much larger facility in KwaZulu-Natal.  The total under construction would be six by the end of the year. The plan was to finish twelve in the coming two to three years.

“We are also in the process for the procurement of a service provider for the upgrading, maintenance and management of the existing access control system. A contract had been awarded for installing security fences with CCTV cameras and detection systems at 27 correctional facilities”, the minister said.

The department was also evaluating the current technology security systems which included access control systems, surveillance systems, alarm systems, fencing systems but access control and fencing virtual private network that was run and controlled by external service providers had been taken over by the department.

She told parliamentarians that, “Body scanners are to be installed in 20 top prisons immediately with more to follow in the course of time.

“We are encouraged by the report that we are succeeding in the down management of escapes from a total of 106 in 2010/11 to 41 in 2011/12. We have also identified the number of facilities with a high risk of gang activities,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula told the house.

 

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