Minister of Correctional Services Budget Speech, responses by DA, ACDP, IFP


19 May 2022

Watch: Mini-plenary







Honourable House Chairperson;

Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa; Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery; Ministers and Deputy Ministers from sister Departments;

Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services;

Honourable Members;

Acting National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services, Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale;

Inspecting Judge, Justice Edwin Cameron;

Members of the National Council for Correctional Services; Members of the Parole Boards;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;


We want to start by quoting our esteemed stalwart, Charlotte Maxeke when she said: “This work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people but live with them and if you can rise, bring someone with you”. Close quote.

As honourable members would know, Mama Maxeke was also the first woman in South Africa to be appointed as a Probation Officer. History records that she was frequently seen in the courts in Benoni and Boksburg where she appeared on behalf of youth who committed various crimes seeking alternative sentences to incarceration.

As we present the budget vote for the Department of Correctional Services, I can think of no better call to action to our officials across the board, from the administrative capital in Pretoria to our most remote centre in Malmesbury.

In the work you do, seek no personal glory as this work is not for yourselves, but rather for all South Africans so that together, we can create a safer South Africa. We want to bring together reformed parolees, victims of crime, rehabilitated ex-offenders, civil society, and South Africans from all walks of life and make South Africa rise in line with a vision by progressive leaders like Mama Maxeke.

We present before this August house a budget amounting to (twenty six point 1 billion rands) 26,1 billion rands for the 2022/23 financial year allocated as follows, (fifteen point two billion rands)15.2 billion rands for Incarceration, (four point six billion rands) 4.6 billion rands for Administration, (two point six billion rands ) 2.6 billion rands for Care, (two point three billion rands) 2.3 billion rands for Rehabilitation, and lastly, (one point two billion rands) 1.2 billion rands for Social Reintegration.

Government resources are constrained, the Department of Correctional Services has adopted an innovative way to save costs and efficiently use the allocated resources. One of the programmes we are using to cut costs in the department is the Self Sufficiency Strategic Framework with a restorative justice element. So far, self-sufficiency has set the department on the right course to save taxpayers money and position the department of correctional services to have a restorative justice impact in communities.

Together with Deputy Minister Holomisa, we took a policy decision affirming that Correctional Services has to find means to self-sustain itself. The department has farms, land, dairies, bakeries, workshops and many other amenities which position us to survive without having to rely on government funding.

I am happy to inform this August house that vegetables costs have also been significantly reduced in the department. Eight Management Areas out of 48, are no longer buying cabbage, spinach, beetroot and onions, they produce enough supply for inmate rations. We will increase the number of Management Areas in the current financial year.

Five Management Areas, namely, Goedemoed (Free State), Kirkwood (Eastern Cape), Rooigrond (North West), Waterval (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Zonderwater (Gauteng), are now fully sustainable on Red Meat, while Drakenstein (Western Cape) and Zonderwater are also no longer procuring chicken meat. The estimated cost savings as a result of implementing Self Sufficiency initiatives in the department amount to (one hundred and sixty-three million rands) 163 million rands.

During this financial year, we will heighten production in our livestock and plant production farms and textile workshops. We have invested in new machinery that will assist in the mass production of uniform for both inmates and officials. We are currently training inmates and officials to run production lines with our new machines. The target is simple, skill inmates with functional skills and increase our production capacity.

House Chairperson, transferring skills to inmates remains an important programme of the department. We want inmates, upon their release, to re-enter their communities with marketable skills and become productive citizens.


Honourable Members

The few incidents of parolees who re-offended in our communities has really caused untold damage to the image of correctional services, I am happy to see that the trial on the murder of Tzane van Wyk has commenced. I am convinced that justice will prevail, and I hope that this trial will send a clear message to other parolees that reoffending does not pay.

I also would like to highlight the good work of some of the rehabilitated offenders like parolee Andrew Moleko from Marikana, North-West. He learned entrepreneurial skills whilst incarcerated. He currently runs a successful construction company that employs a lot of parolees. He is one of our many parolees who are good ambassadors of rehabilitation programmes of the department. We commend the companies which gave him opportunities and reiterate that a criminal record does not render someone completely unemployable.

With limited human capital, our officials are doing extraordinary work under difficult circumstances. We appeal to communities not to deny parolees opportunities. We have seen with parolees like Moleko that access to opportunities contributes towards their rehabilitation.

During the 2021/22 financial year, 90% of sentenced offenders with correctional sentence plans completed correctional programmes. With regard to offender development, offenders participate in Long Occupation Skills Programmes, Short Occupational Skills Programmes, TVET College Programmes, General Education and Training (GET), Further Education and Training (FET) and the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate. Offenders also receive Psychological, Social and Spiritual Services.

House Chairperson, the voted allocation for offender development is supplemented through the National Skills Fund allocations. The current agreement of (eighty seven point two million rands) R 87.2 million for the training of (five thousand four hundred and eighty) 5 480 offenders has been extended from 31 March 2022 to 31 March 2023. This funding ensures that more offenders are provided needs-based skills development opportunities as part of their rehabilitation.

The accreditation of Offender Training Facilities and Workplaces has been enhanced. The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) assisted in formalising the National Skills Development Management System, thus resulting in correctional facilities including Boksburg, Kgosi Mampuru II, Drakenstein and Bizzah Makhathe being approved to provide accredited programmes.

We are also working with the Services SETA in accrediting female hairdressing sites/salons at Durban, Bizzah Makhathe, Pollsmoor and Worcester correctional centres. Much work has been done in terms of addressing the identified gaps and we are confident that we will meet all accreditation requirements. It is our resolve that all training programmes offered in our correctional centres are accredited and meet the set industry standards.Formal education has been doing extremely well over the years. Our matriculants continue to surpass the national pass rate. It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have registered a new school in the KwaZulu-Natal Region, named Sicebengolwazi, which when translated, means ‘armed with knowledge’. This school is already operational, offering Grades 10 to 12 subjects.

The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) is another institution that we have formalised a working partnership with, under the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies. This partnership will be piloting Microsoft Digital Literacy Programmes to offenders. These partnerships are also explored with the business sector and NGOs as we enhance relations and collaboration for the purposes of empowering offenders with skills for employability, job preparedness and to create job opportunities.

The Department will also be extending correctional programmes this financial year to Remand Detainees. We have developed structured programmes to assist Remand Detainees to develop general life skills which they could apply during detention and upon their release to prevent future offending behaviour. The programmes will focus on several areas such as emotional health and wellbeing, problem solving, emotional intelligence, substance abuse, conflict resolution, domestic violence, and restoration of relations.

We are also encouraged that National Treasury has approved 100% retention of revenue we generate through self-sufficiency. This is a major boost to the programme as we will reinvest resources towards its growth. The department has commercialised its arts and crafts products to enhance and self-sustain some of its programmes. Various in-house projects with the use of inmate labour are currently underway to refurbish other amenities such as kitchens, recreational facilities, and office accommodation. Not everything in state needs to be outsourced, the state must be a pioneer in some markets industries.

What is now evident is that there is more ground that we can cover through our in-house built programme. We are now repairing tower posts to augment our security infrastructure. Tower posts offer several advantages to our security enterprise. An elevated or aerial view provides a bigger spectrum where one official can effectively conduct monitoring. Every movement is also noticeable from an aerial position. As a result, disturbances, be it outside cells or on the inside, can be spotted in real time. The in-house built programme will also be covering the construction of Community Corrections offices.

The Mpumalanga Department of Education has reached out to the Department of Correctional Services on its Rhandza Xi Kolo Xa Wena Campaign, that seeks to mobilize communities to always own and safeguard their schools. It further encompasses repairing damaged school property. Deputy Minister Holomisa was on Tuesday in Mpumalanga where the two departments signed a Service Level Agreement for us to refurbish school furniture for the Mpumalanga department of education through utilization of offender labour. We have a similar agreement with the Gauteng Department of Education.

This is born out of the type of work that Correctional Services has been doing over years, refurbishing damaged public infrastructure. Some of the schools in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Eastern Cape have had their infrastructure restored by Correctional Services. Fixing ceilings, painting walls, rendering basic maintenance work and cleaning is in the package that DCS makes available through offender labour.

The Departmental production workshops continue to manufacture and supply furniture for various client Departments. Among them are the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development and Housing, Water and Sanitation.

It is with a great sense of joy to announce that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure will be placing orders for furniture with Correctional Services production workshops. An increase in the orders placed means that we get our production workshops to be more productive, as inmates cannot sit idle in their cells. More inmates will be at work. More inmates will be meaningfully occupied.

Honourable Members, overcrowding in our facilities continues to be a perennial challenge that requires holistic attention in terms of crime deterrence by our communities. For as a long as people continue to commit crime, we are thus left vulnerable to possible overcrowding in correctional centres.

Although there has been a reduction in the inmate population over the years, the correctional system remains under pressure. Over a period of five years, from 2015/16 to 2020/21, we have recorded a reduction of 12.99%. In real figures, we moved from 161 984 to 140 948. Sadly, there are spikes that we often encounter.

What cannot be avoided is the fact that overcrowding is brought by external factors to Correctional


In terms of capital projects, it is worth mentioning the construction of additional bed space at Parys has achieved 85% completion and is scheduled to be finalised during the 2023/2024 financial year. This upgrade project will provide an additional 176 bed spaces.

The upgrade and refurbishment of the Emthonjeni Youth Centre will regain a total of 640 bed spaces and transform the centre into a state-of-the-art Integrated Security Systems facility. This project is scheduled for completion during the 2022/23 financial year. Another milestone is the refurbishment of the Umzimkulu correctional centre which was finalised during the 2021/22 financial year. The facility will be operationalized during the current financial year.

Work is also continuing when it comes to the welfare of our officials. The Waterval Management Area was struck by a Tornado in 2019, leaving serious destruction to the centre and the residential area of our officials. As a result, the officials whose houses were damaged became displaced and had to be relocated elsewhere on the terrain. We are pleased to announce that the refurbishment of 42 staff houses will be finalised during the month of June 2022.

Honourable members, allow me to provide an update on the matter involving the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) following a Constitutional Court judgement handed down on 4 December 2020.

The Department of Correctional Services and JICS have been working on the implementation of the judgment and the creation of a JICS Bill to ultimately replace sections 88A(1)(b), 88A(4) and 91 of the

Correctional Services Act, 111 of 1998 as confirmed by the Constitutional Court to be constitutionally invalid.

We remain hopeful that a solution will be found on the impasse to ensure we comply with the judgement.

It is now common knowledge that the Department of Correctional Services, like many other departments, suffered budget cuts. The Compensation of Employees (CoE) budget cuts amount to R11 billion over the MTEF period ending 2024/2025. Honourable Members, one of the challenges that the department is faced with is the reality that the demand for services will not stop or decline just because there is a budget cut. Instead, service delivery expectations will continue to grow irrespective of whether resources are commensurate with such demands.

Therefore, this challenge calls for a change in a manner that the Department delivers its services. To this end, Correctional Services has begun a process of reconfiguring head office such that some resources will be released to augment the dire human resource needs at key strategic areas. This will inevitably have an effect on how services are delivered at head office. For the Department to be persistent and purposeful in ensuring that service delivery is not compromised by a shrinking human capital, the situation requires a different posture. It requires, amongst others, a change in operations and culture, starting from top management to the correctional centre floor level.

Honourable Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Correctional Services will be embarking on a recruitment drive for learners. We are looking at over 3000 opportunities which will diversify the skills set that we intend attracting in our workforce. We continue to encourage the youth of this country to consider corrections as a career of choice. We pride ourselves in being one of the niche institutions where almost all disciplines are accommodated. We will also finalize the appointment of the National Commissioner in due course.

On the international front, the department has committed to exchange programmes and benchmarking visits in the areas of mutual interest which include, staff training and development, security, rehabilitation, reintegration, and parole administration. We also participated in two Southern African Development Community Bi-National commissions hosted by President Ramaphosa. Botswana has finalised legislation on the transfer of sentenced offenders, and we are currently engaging with relevant stakeholders to ensure that this is done in a correct constitutional approach.

Esteemed guests and honourable members, a new cause and a new vision are being pioneered behind bars. With what we have achieved thus far, it does demonstrate a prosperous journey ahead. We appeal to South Africans to partner with us, Corrections is a societal responsibility, on our own, we can’t carry the entire load of transforming law breakers. Let us work together to create a safer and prosperous South Africa.

With that, I table the budget of the Department of Correctional Services to this August house.

I thank you.









Honourable House Chairperson,

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Ozzy Lamola,

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr John Jeffery,

Chairperson, Members of the Portfolio Committee

Honourable Members

Members of the public


South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) calls for, inter alia, the building of safe communities and promotion of social cohesion. To this end, in contributing towards Safe and Empowered Communities through Sustainable Economic Development, one of the strategic focus areas of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is the social reintegration of all those in its care.

DCS regards the effective social reintegration of offenders as the most challenging and most crucial aspect of their rehabilitation. DCS also realises that this is the point at which offenders are at their most vulnerable in their progression to sustainable correction and rehabilitation.

Through the implementation of the DCS Social Reintegration Framework, the Department seeks to create platforms and avenues for active participation and involvement of various stakeholders in the advancement of rehabilitation and social reintegration of offenders. The Framework maps out processes to reposition the system of community corrections by professionalising core functions of Social Reintegration, actively engaging the community and relevant stakeholders in the rehabilitation process as well as providing interventions and services that are responsive to the risks and needs of parolees and probationers to eliminate reoffending and improve public safety.

The Social Reintegration programme is expected to spend R3.5 billion over the medium-term, and 89.3% of the total budget of the programme, amounting to R3.1 billion, is allocated to the Supervision sub-programme.  Over the medium-term, R141.8 million, which is 4.1% of the total programme allocation, will be spent on leased community corrections offices. The Department continues to facilitate restorative justice by also increasing the number of victims participating in restorative justice programmes from 4 100 in 2022/23 to 5 300 in 2024/25. These dialogues are budgeted for in the Community Reintegration sub-programme, with an allocation of R198.3 million over the MTEF period.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the execution of social reintegration processes, resulting in reduced physical monitoring of offenders and restorative justice processes such as Victim-Offender-Dialogues (VODs) and Victim-Offender-Mediations (VOMs). Integration with district and regional models will be prioritised to ensure accessibility of services to parolees and probationers.

Given the prevailing economic conditions, concerted efforts will be made to engage various partners including sister Government Departments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and relevant community structures to provide after care and support in ensuring successful reintegration.

For the past three years, DCS has recorded a 99% success rate of parolees and probationers complying with conditions of release.

Although those who violated their conditions constituted 1%, some of them committed serious and violent crimes. The rate of recidivism in South Africa is widely believed to be unacceptably high. This deduction, however, is not very reliable, as there is currently no reliable system for monitoring recidivism, or analyzing the trends in this regard, and thus such a system will have to be developed and put in place. It order for us to develop an understanding of the causes of re-offending and the effectiveness of rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives, DCS has embarked upon a scientific research programme. The extent to which societal institutions such as the family unit and other community institutions embrace correction as one of their basic functions will have an impact on successful social reintegration, as well as the future rate of reoffending.

The University of South Africa (UNISA) committed to providing guidance on the recognition of prior learning for the educational growth of community corrections officials. The Department of Home Affairs will extend their mobile services to offenders, parolees and correctional officials and will grant access to system reports to down-manage archived absconders (such as death notifications). The South African Police Service (SAPS) will process sample lists at their Criminal Record Centres for system generated reports for absconders. Available community service hubs will be extended to parolees and probationers, including access to economic opportunities, and joint operations with the SAPS will be intensified to trace absconders.

The ageing vehicle fleet, across the 218 community corrections offices, has been a common feature. The national drive to capacitate community corrections offices with an efficient fleet of vehicles has been realized, as 519 vehicles were sourced for community corrections across the country which addressed 98% of the registered national need.  This intervention will result in community corrections officials being sufficiently resourced to meet service delivery expectations to communities. Community Corrections has also expedited the supply of other tools of trade, in line with resolutions stemming from the 2019 Community Corrections Indaba. The project to distribute laptops is underway as part of the drive to improve the job effectiveness of community corrections officials.

As per the White Paper on Corrections, the promotion of the spirit and practice of goodwill and sincere interaction between offenders and their communities and families, and within the correctional centre community, is a vehicle through which rehabilitation can be promoted.

The involvement of inmates in caring for their communities within the correctional centre environment, in taking responsibility for their fellow inmates and their families, are stepping-stones to the reintegration of these individuals into society, equipped with the tools necessary to strengthen the moral fibre of society. It is for this reason that Correctional Services is not only addressing rehabilitation from an institutional point of view, but views societal upliftment as the engine for societal transformation processes.

Across South Africa, Correctional Services continues to avail various support measures, including donations from our officials’ own pockets, as well as food donations such as vegetables, eggs, pork and beef from our agricultural farms, abattoirs and production workshops. We also provide assistance on infrastructural work, relating to construction of buildings, electrical work, tiling, painting, plumbing and general labour through our artisans, offenders and parolees amongst others. It is thus prudent for citizens to experience that the skills and talents inmates acquire behind bars are not offered only for the benefit of offenders, but must be utilized in supporting developmental infrastructure projects and community-led initiatives towards ensuring that all people in South Africa are, and feel, safe.

Honourable Members, over the past year, oversight visits to various DCS Management Areas gave us first-hand experience on the challenges facing the staff of the department, who operate at the coalface of our operations, that is, the correctional centres, as well as the opportunity to engage with inmates. Coupled with these visits, we have also undertaken a number of community outreach initiatives in partnership with our social partners who include among others SABC’s Mhlobo Wenene FM,

Metropolitan Life, Avbob and Old Mutual.  For instance, on 29 March 2022, together with the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS), we undertook a working visit to the Upington Management Area in the Free State/Northern Cape Region, where we also handed over dignity packs, comprising sanitary towels and boxer shorts (underwear), to young girls, as well as school back packs to young boys, in partnership with Old Mutual and Metropolitan Life, at Oranje Oewer Primary School. A vegetable garden has also been established at the school and, like others elsewhere, is being maintained by parolees and probationers.

During the same Upington working visit the Department entered into an MOU with Marcus Mbetha Sindisa Secure School, under the auspices of the Northern Cape Department of Education. In terms of the MOU parolees will be trained in the manufacture of various wood products, including coffins, as part of their ongoing rehabilitation.

The coffins will be given as charitable assistance to underprivileged families in the Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality.

The relationship between DCS and the community, CBOs, NGOs and FBOs is a sine qua non to the successful achievement of the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders. In this regard, the department adopted the Mthatha-based Khwezi Lokusa Special School for the Cerebral Palsied and Orthopaedically Challenged Learners. In terms of this arrangement we committed ourselves to continually provide cleaning, gardening and maintenance services, using parolee and probationer labour.

This model has been successfully replicated at Retlametswe Special School in Mahikeng, where we also provided the school with fresh farm produce from the Rooigrond Correctional Centre. We are perforce constantly looking for opportunities in our communities where, within the parameters of the Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability Framework, we can be agents of positive change.

Uppermost in our interventions as leadership is to create a conducive working environment for our employees to be able to discharge their duties unhindered, and motivated. To underline our commitment to the wellbeing of our employees the Department recently hosted a successful 3-day Integrated Employee Health and Wellness Summit in St Albans during which effective strategies were developed to cater for the physical, social, spiritual and financial needs of officials who routinely perform their duties under risky and stressful conditions.

Without the leadership and support of the Chairperson and Members of the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee, the work of the Department will be constrained and I would therefore wish to place on record my sincere thanks and appreciation to them. I also wish to thank the Inspecting Judge, Edwin Cameron, and his office for their enthusiasm and frankness in our engagements.

A special word of gratitude goes to our dedicated and hands-on Minister, Honourable Ronald Ozzy Lamola, as well as all DCS officials led by Acting National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale.