Pretoria - The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has encouraged people wishing to visit inmates at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre to make bookings to avoid being turned away.
South African prisons were hard hit by the spread of the Covid-19, recording 7060 cases among inmates and officials.
The department has, however, made significant progress and dropped the number of active cases to just 190 across the country, a 95% recovery rate.
Kgosi Mampuru has 7173 inmates who haven't been visited by their families and friends.
The prison had 177 cumulative positive cases among inmates and 156 in officials. Recoveries are at 164 for inmates and 149 officials.
The prison has had five deaths of inmates and four officials.
Currently, there are eight active cases among inmates. Only three officials are infected.
Department spokesperson Mocheta Monama said when the country went into lockdown alert level 1, visits started slowly, but they were expected to pick up.
Monama said: “In terms of the White Paper on Corrections, family play a major role towards the rehabilitation of offenders, and it is indeed crucial. The rehabilitation of offenders can be truly successful, and their reintegration meaningful, if families and other stakeholders participate in the process.
“As part of the Covid-19 mitigation and prevention strategy, visits by family members and friends of offenders were suspended and this means offenders have not been seeing their families and/or friends for the past six months.
“Kgosi Mampuru will be allowing families to visit inmates who are incarcerated. However, families will be requested to make bookings before they come for visits.”
Monama said bookings could be made by calling or sending an email to the facility, including the remand detention centre for those awaiting trial, central correctional centre, C Max, female correctional centre, Odi Correctional Centre in Mabopane and the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre.