Johannesburg - The Correctional Services department should hire the now unemployed Bosasa employees to fill the gap after the corruption scandal-ridden company filed for liquidation, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Sunday.
Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, is in voluntary liquidation after South Africa's banks announced they would close down Bosasa-linked bank accounts at the end of the month.
Bosasa's woes started when its former COO Angelo Agrizzi testified at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture on how the company allegedly bribed top African National Congress and government officials to keep raking in state tenders.
Bosasa, led by CEO Gavin Watson, said the extent of reputational damage caused by these allegations had resulted in other local and international banks declining to open a trading account for the company.
The Krugersdorp-based company has billions of rand worth of catering contracts at the department dating back more than 10 years. Popcru said Bosasa staffers could help out at prison kitchens.
''As much as we support the decision to have Bosasa liquidated, their innocent staff members who are now facing unwarranted job losses cannot just be disposed of. They must all be absorbed by the correctional services and continue doing the important work that they have been carrying out as they cannot be sacrificial lambs over an unfortunate situation not out of their own making. They will impart the necessary skills to inmates that will contribute to their rehabilitation.
''We want to categorically mention that no current correctional officials must be diverted to work within kitchens as we have understaffing and overcrowding. This self-made dilemma should not result in any uncertainty and changes,'' Popcru said.
Last week, the department said it had set up a ''war room'' consisting of work-stream captains, working on an operational plan which would immediately kick in to facilitate a seamless transition in the event of any disruption to nutrition services.
African News Agency (ANA)