The Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola says overcrowding in the country’s prisons is now at 33%. He says the recommended capacity of the prisons is just over 108 000 whereas there are currently 148 inmates in prison.
In a written reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Janho Engelbrecht, Lamola says some prisons have up to 245 % overcrowding.
The Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and Gauteng have the highest level overcrowding at 63%, 49% and 45% respectively.
The three most overcrowded correctional centres with over 200% more inmates than recommended, are in the Eastern Cape. They are Queesnstown at 248%, Bizana at 245% and Mount Frere at 243%.
Another facility with an inmate population of over 200 % more than the recommended number is Allandale in the Western Cape.
The minister says there are just under five inmates for every security official and there are over 1700 vacancies.