Concerns raised over Correctional Services staffing
Cape Town - Correctional Service organisations are worried the delay in the employment of about 2 000 trainee correctional service officials after having competently concluded their learnership training programmes.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the union have since October 2020 learned about the non-renewal of the contracts for the learners (correctional officials in waiting).
Mamabolo said the union has met with the department of correctional services (DCS) in December last year to talk about the employment of the trainees given the staff shortages experienced within the department.
SA Sentenced and Awaiting Trial Prisoners Organisation (Sasapo) chairperson Phindile Zweni said there are huge problems of corruption within the DCS that even their own members/officials were complaining about the maladministration and corruption within their senior ranks.
DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the absorption of learners was a top priority for the department which would be done in phases instead of a once-off approach given the shrinking purse in the public service.
Nxumalo said the absorption process was estimated to start in May and will continue as vacancies become available.
He said learnership contracts were youth developmental programme contracts.
“This is stipulated by the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC) Resolution 2 of 2009 of which Clause 12.1 states that learnership contracts must terminate once the contract has ended.
"The last learnership contracts ended in December 2020. This nullifies the dumping of learners that some have been talking about," said Nxumalo.
SA Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights president Miles Bhudu said the organisation was not surprised, neither shocked nor outraged, about the DCS, for dragging their heels or having changed their minds on absorbing the learners.
Bhudu said the organisation would not be surprised if the department were to say they were broke, and were insolvent, and if the latter speculation was anything to go by, they could apply for a bailout and the government won't think twice to comply.