Poor project management by public works had led to lengthy delays in prison maintenance, correctional services acting national commissioner Zach Modise told Parliament’s justice and correctional services portfolio committee.
The money should be sent to correctional services.
“We’ll then be in a position to manage and control the projects we are implementing and ensure there is proper roll-out,” said Modise.
In his presentation to the committee, Modise said construction projects at various prisons, including Pretoria’s C-Max, Tzaneen in Limpopo, and Warmbokkeveld in Ceres and Vanrhynsdorp in the Western Cape, were delayed due to poor performance by contractors who faced financial difficulties.
“We found that just to cancel one project it will take an average of about 18 months and during that period it means that operationally as a department we are affected because in some cases we’ll find that we have to move offenders from one centre to another,” Modise said.
“The spill-over effect in terms of delays will have an impact on overpopulation and overcrowding in some of our centres.”
National Treasury had approved the funding of 96 posts in correctional services so the department could oversee construction projects instead of relying on public works.
“We’ll have various capacities from construction project managers to architects and engineers,” said Modise.
The whole idea is to mitigate the challenges around project implementation.”