Cape Town - Parliament has summoned the Department of Correctional Services to present plans on the way forward regarding the contracts held by the embattled facilities management company formerly known as Bosasa.
This comes after Bosasa, now known as the African Global Operations, announced on Monday that its group of companies were filing for voluntary liquidation following the closure of their bank accounts. On Tuesday DA MP James Selfe said it was more important to have the department appear before the committee as Bosasa provided important services.
“Bosasa has various expensive contracts with the Department of Correctional Services, among others catering contracts. It will be useful before they brief us to have the extent of those contracts disclosed to the committee.
“We will need to know the implications spelled out of any possible failure to deliver services by Bosasa, so that we can have a conversation with the department and ministry to help them overcome problems that will be caused by this,” said Selfe.
Bosasa provides three meals a day to 26 prisons which accounts for 46434 prisoners, about 29% of the total inmate population of correctional facilities in the country.
The department said it had established an urgent war room to deal with the fallout of Bosasa. Selfe said the committee would look into whether the department could continue to provide services without Bosasa.
“The ministry will have to step in and provide the services which were provided by Bosasa. We will have to interrogate whether they have the capacity, staff and equipment. This is a very complex conversation, and I doubt if we will be able to do justice to this conversation if we are not provided with information before time.”
Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services wants the department to outline its plans before it planned emergency measures in place to deal with the potential fallout of Bosasa.
Committee chairperson Madipoane Mothapo said: “The committee further agreed that it would receive a status report briefing from the ministry on 27 February on all the contracts the ministry has with Bosasa. All members agreed that this matter is urgent, particularly in light of reports about Bosasa’s liquidation and the services Bosasa provides in South Africa’s correctional facilities.”
ANC MP Vincent Smith, who was also fingered in Bosasa dealing, was present at the meeting, and agreed with the committee that the department would have to appear before it.