New correctional facility opened in Tzaneen

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A newly-built correctional facility has been opened in Tzaneen, Limpopo.

The Tzaneen Correctional Centre, which was opened on Friday, will accommodate about 500 offenders.

It is one of 16 highly-equipped prisons built since the dawn of democracy.

Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, officiated the event. He says the aim of building new centres is to reduce overcrowding across all correctional centres in the country.

“The department of correctional services opened the Tzaneen Correctional facility which will relieve us of the overcrowding burden in South Africa by now it has relieved us of about 49% of overcrowding it has led to the area management of MLN to an overcrowding which is above the national average of 15% percent.”

Five hundred inmates, who are serving sentences of less than 15 years, will be accommodated at the centre. The inmates will also take part in rehabilitation processes in agriculture by harvesting fruits and vegetables. Lamola says this will help rehabilitate the offenders.

“It is an area where we want to ensure that corrections, community corrections and the rehabilitation of offenders does happen as it joins the 13 new generation prisons that have been built post 1994.”

The centre is equipped with high-end technology and security measures to prevent possible escape by inmates.

DISCUSSION: State on SA’s prisons with Justine Gericke: