The acting National Commissioner, Mr Samuel Makgothi Thobakgale accompanied by the acting Chief Operations Commissioner Phiko Mbambo, concluded the DCS Head of Correctional Centre sessions on a high note at Westville Correctional Centre, in KwaZulu Natal region on 11-12 October 2021. The KZN session was characterised by robust discussions between the Head of Centres (HCC’s), Area Commissioners and Regional Heads aimed at coming with amicable solutions on operations unique and suitable for the region.
Commissioner Thobakgale applauded the successful strides of the sessions which were held throughout the six regions. The sessions were aimed at taking stock on whether the implementation of DCS’ Tool of Trade in all regions took place efficiently and effectively in a quest to address challenges pertaining to the alarming number of security breach incidents taking place in the DCS.
‘’The session that we just concluded is one of the sessions that the acting COC has been conducting in all our regions, with the purpose of assessing the implementation of our tools of trades. We were conducting these sessions to assess implementation but to also get feedback from our Area Commissioners and Management in our regions as to the implementation of the SOPs and how we can improve,’’ said Commissioner Thobakgale.
Commissioner Thobakgale emphasized the importance of going back to basics. ‘’Our expectation is that there is deeper understanding, shared commitment to implement what is in our tools of trade. We expect that what we expressed in these tools of trade will be the guiding everyday practical instruments that our managers and officials at a centre level, utilize to execute their duties. Each and every official of the DCS in whatever position they are posted at any time of their shifts, will be guided by these tools in doing their work. And we expect our management at centre level especially the HCC’s, the Management, Members of the Management Committees and those who are in charge of specific shifts to enforce the tool of trade,’’ added Thobakgale.
Acting Chief Operations Commissioner, Phiko Mbambo took note of the fact that all regions expressed unique challenges around implementing of the SOPs. ‘’Much as they were launched last year, they are not fully implemented by HCC’s in their respective centres. So we took this initiative of taking stock as a way of monitoring and evaluating the implementation, ’’alluded Mbambo.
Acknowledging the fruitful participation, COC Mbambo said that what impressed him the most about the interactions was the eagerness and the commitment by the HCCs to change gears when it came to the implementation of the SOPs. He said all of this is done with the main objective of addressing security gaps faced by the Department and he hoped that all HCC’s were ready to take this challenge up to themselves and own up. “The good lesson in this whole exercise is that the HCC’s in different regions have gaps that need to dealt with. We made an undertaking that these tools of trades are not static,’’ said Mbambo.
As a sign of commitment by KZN region, all HCC’s accepted a packaged tool of trade with their signatures on and a form for them accepting the responsibility vested in them. The HCC’s were told to do continuous surprise searches as part of ensuring these Tools of Trade are implemented fully.