The National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Makgothi Thobakgale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) on 24 June 2022, with the overarching objective of conducting joint programmes geared towards empowering offenders, paroles, probationers, victims of crime and members of the community.
The objective of this initiative is to enhance the targeted groups’ chances of employment, and to reduce crime in the society. This specific project will focus on providing accredited welding and plumbing training to the beneficiaries.
In order to give full expression to the MoU, Branch Community Corrections has identified KwaZulu-Natal (KZN); Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (LMN); Western Cape (WC), Gauteng and Free State and Northern Cape (FS&NC); and Eastern Cape (EC) regions as a point of recruitment and enrolment into the training programme.
On 05 April 2023, DCS and NYDA working in conjunction with various stakeholders including Msunduzi Local Municipality conducted an induction for the youth beneficiaries in Pietermaritzburg, KZN Region. This was followed by another induction session on 13 April 2023 at Vhembe TVET College in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province.
A total of 60 parolees and probationers have been selected to participate in this programme, with 740 community members. The Director: Community Liaison, Hangwi Nesengani said the training programme will last for six months and trainees will receive a stipend of R1050 per month. Nesengani said section 61 of the Correctional Services act 111 of 1998 places an obligation on Area Commissioners to assist offenders on release to secure employment. He stated that this learnership is aimed at preventing ex-offenders from relapsing into a life of crime due to them idling at home with nothing to do.
DCS approached the traditional leadership of Vhembe District to provide a number of community members to be trained as part of the implementation plan in line with the call made by the locals during an Imbizo held on 26 January 2023 in the area. Vhembe TVET College has also identified students who will be trained on the programme.
Mr Phuthi Semenya, Manager Partnership and Coordination for National Youth Services Unit said their aim is to use this training programme to create job opportunities and reduce youth unemployment.