Christmas came early for Ms Selina Mafisa, a pensioner from Central West Jabavu in Soweto when Minister Michael Masutha, together with Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane handed over her refurbished home on 22 December 2017.
Selina Mafisa was crammed into a temporary structure at the back of her Phiri Street home for more than a year. She shared that space with seventeen other family members after an electrical fire gutted her house.
Eight parolees gave back meaningfully through labour in the refurbishment of Mafisa’s home which took three weeks. Fulufulu Trading and Projects partnered with Community Corrections offices in Gauteng during recent months where their “Project Green” helped destitute families in and around Soweto. The project aims to restore thirty homes for local families before the end of 2019. Eight houses have already been restored and handed over.
Many parts of Soweto rank among the poorest in Johannesburg. Central West Jabavu established in the mid 1940’s is amongst them. The basic four roomed homes have been exposed to electrical fires as a result of poor infrastructure and compromised safety standards.
Minister Masutha told the community of Jabavu that as much as parolees gave back to the community they had wronged, the department remains cognisant of the pain incurred by victims. He said that the policy on Victim Empowerment is currently under review. “Too much focus has been placed on offenders and not on victims” he said. He highlighted that for the offended to be rehabilitation it was necessary for the policy to be reviewed to ensure balanced attention.
The Mafisa home received reinforced walls, a new roof, electrical installations, plumbing and a fresh splash of paint which averaged around R90 000 in materials.
Adv. Masutha said that society is guaranteed victory against crime and re-offending if everyone begins to understand the role to play in assisting those who are vulnerable to lead positive and productive lives. He gave credit to the tighter screening applied on applicants of parole. He highlighted that the compliance to parole and correctional supervision conditions increased from 85% to 99% and rated this as a significant achievement for DCS.