The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is failing to implement an arbitration order to adjust the salaries of thousands of prison wardens. This is indicative of a growing crisis of mismanagement by the Department and needs to be rectified.
Last year an arbitration order was granted to adjust the salaries of thousands of DCS wardens after they had discovered that they were being paid less than other colleagues even though they had been through the same training programme. To date, this has still not been done.
This is just one example of the management issues which are festering in the Department. Recent oversight visits to Correctional Facilities revealed that poor management has led to other issues developing. These include the following:
The lack of management serves as an inhibiting factor for members to execute their functions effective and efficiently. As a result, rehabilitation of inmates and service delivery is hampered.
This issue requires urgent attention from the Minister of Correctional Services Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, to prevent a possible strike or irresponsible actions by officials. Last Tuesday, I requested that the Minister step in and appoint an independent labour practitioner to assess the situation and to report back to him.
It is clear that the National Commissioner of Correctional Services and his top managers are unable to address the situation regardless of the many promises which have been made to the Portfolio Committee.