Question NW2460 to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

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21 December 2020 - NW2460

Profile picture: Selfe, Mr J

Selfe, Mr J to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

(1)Whether any correctional centres in the Eastern Cape are confronted with water shortages as at the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, which specified correctional centres; (2) what (a) immediate and (b) longer-term steps are being taken to alleviate the water shortages; (3) whether he has found that such water shortages have had any effect on (a) discipline and (b) operations of the specified correctional centres; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?


1. Yes, the DCS centres have been affected by water shortages.

1.1 The following are the centres under OR Tambo District Municipality

  • Lusikisiki;
  • Flagstaff;
  • Mqanduli; and
  • Ngqeleni.

The major challenge is the capacity of water treatment plants that cannot cope with the demand. However, the Department has bought water tankers for those centres to augment when there is no municipal supply.

1.2 In addition, the following centres under Chris Hani District Municipality:

  • Sada;
  • Queenstown;
  • Dordrect;
  • Cofimvamba;
  • Lady Frere;
  • Engcobo; and
  • Middelburg

The biggest challenge in this District is the high demand versus the capacity of the plant and ageing municipal infrastructure.

1.3 Furthermore, the following are the centres under Amathole District Municipality

  • Idutywa
  • Butterworth
  • Middledrift

The biggest challenge is drought (drying up of dams which causes silting). DCS has also bought water tankers for those centres to augment when there is no municipal supply.

1.4 The following are centres under Nelson Mandela Metro:

  • St Albans Medium A;
  • St Albans Medium B; and
  • St Albans Maximum;

The main challenges are lack of rainfall and this started beginning of this year. DCS is procuring Jojo tanks and 3 water tankers and is in talks with the municipality for alternative ways of supply.


(a) The immediate intervention undertaken by the Department is procurement of storage tanks and water tankers for various areas;

(b) Medium to long term plans are to survey ground water availability in order to drill boreholes. The process of surveying has started at St Albans.

Municipalities, as water services authorities, need to upgrade their water treatment plants to be in line with the population demand and maintenance of plants thereof.


(a) Discipline

Offenders were addressed regarding the problem of water in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan (NMBM), and how this problem will affect the normal running of the activities in the Correctional centre. They were also alerted of attempts that were being made to mitigate the risk of no water. The briefing made offenders not to revolt or be aggressive as they see that even though there is no running water is provided for drinking and bathing.

(b) Operations

Water shortages in centres compromises security and the entire operations of a centre due to the following reasons:

  • No steam to prepare food for offenders;
  • No hot water generation for bathing;
  • The hygiene of offenders is severely compromised. The security of the centres is also at risk.


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