More facilities to be built to address prison overcrowding: Patekile Holomisa

Deputy Correctional Services Minister, Patekile Holomisa, says prisons do not have conditions that are conducive to the adherence of COVID-19 protocols. He says overcrowding remains a problem in spite of the release of more than 12 000 people being granted parole.

Holomisa says more facilities will be built to address overcrowding. He was on an oversight visit to the Sada Correctional Centre near Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape.

“We are looking at opening centres that have been refurbished like one in Ngamakwe. There are others in Limpopo and also in KZN that are ready for occupation so that’s where we are going to be offloading some of the overcrowding.”

Correctional facilities in the Eastern Cape account for close to 2 000 coronavirus infections of which 1 196 were inmates.

Patekile says there are no active cases among inmates currently.

“Unfortunately, we had 10 deaths and currently, there are no active cases. Then regarding officials, we had 858 cases and 10 deaths and currently 3 active cases. We believe that the matter is being contained. The measures that are being followed have come up with desired results in the sense that there has not been too much escalation.”