Overcrowding is a huge problem and adds an additional burden to the cash-strapped DCS. “Our prisons only have space for 119 000 people. That means it’s a fact that South African prisons are massively overcrowded, by almost 30 000 people,” says Ndebele.
There are currently 243 correctional facilities in South Africa, most which were built at a time when the principle of correctional detainment and rehabilitation of prisoners was unheard of. With the policy shift from the historical “custodial warehousing” to rehabilitation, a review and redesign of some of these facilities has become necessary.
The DCS is currently reviewing all the old-generation facilities. It’s also considering issues like the increasing cost for maintenance of old facilities, of overcrowding and of limited fiscal capacity.
“In the medium term, there is no budgetg for building g new facilities,” says Ndebele.
There was a plan to build five new facilities, which called for a public-private pa partnership ( PPP) programme between the state and privat private contractors and that wo would have cost Go Government arou around R2bn. T The DCS ca cancelled th this expans sion plan i in 2011.
“That P PPP was cancelled due to the u unjustifiably high cost to t the depart-