Minister Michael Masutha conducted an oversight visit at Rooigrond Management Area on 23 January 2019.The visit was a build-up towards a session about the employment of parolees and probationers in Rustenburg Civic Centre on 24 January 2019.
The visit kicked off at the Area Commissioner’s office with an overview by Area Commissioner Phumzile Majozi, who was accompanied by heads of correctional centres.
Minister Masutha met with management and staff members to identify and unblock challenges towards effective service delivery. He was mainly concerned about the low staff complement in the management area, and wanted to know whether there were mechanisms in place to manage the situation.
Later he did a walkabout at Rooigrond Medium A and visited remand detainees and lifers’ cells. Minister Masutha acknowledged the challenges that offenders faced. One of the key challenges brought up by a remand detainee was staying for long periods in correctional facilities without their cases being concluded. He requested that all details of remand detainees who have been in the facility for two years and more should be forwarded to his office to find out what could be done.
Rooigrond Management Area accommodates 1 953 offenders, of which 1 794 are sentenced. It has a prison farm of 1 840 hectares where vegetables, pork, beef and milk are produced.
Masutha also touched on one of the main challenges in Rooigrond, which is provision of running water. He said the department was working tirelessly to end the water shortage. He acknowledged the health hazards the water issue poses to the wellbeing of offenders and affirmed that the shortage is treated with urgency.
The management area is currently phasing out an old water system and installing a water purification plant to eliminate the longstanding water challenges.
Minister Masutha was accompanied by acting LMN Regional Commissioner Phiko Mbambo and acting Deputy Regional Commissioner Takalani Mashamba.