Hon Speaker, the Department of Correctional Services is becoming the weakest link in the criminal justice system. Unrests at correctional centres are now a regular event. Officials are assaulted and state property is damaged by inmates. The fact that unrests occurred at Groenpunt, Pollsmoor and twice now at St Albans Correctional Centres, is an indication that Correctional Services is in crisis.
There are many factors that contribute to prison unrests like those at Groenpunt centre: overcrowding by 132%, low morale of officials due to poor labour and human resource practices and unqualified and/or inexperienced officials appointed to managerial positions. At Groenpunt the ratio between nurses and inmates is 1:1 000. The shortcomings are indicative of poor management, lack of leadership and discipline. The Minister of Correctional Services must intervene with urgency to prevent further unrests at our correctional centres. [Applause.]