Correctional Services to become a seven-day establishment

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cape Town - The Department of Correctional Services would from tomorrow, 1 July, implement a seven-day establishment, and move away from a five-day institution.

This as the department has been battling massive weekend overtime claims.

"The department was interfacing with the Minister of Public Service and Administration for the matter to be regulated," Minister of Correctional Services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday during her Budget Vote in Parliament.

She said this would go a long way in curbing over-expenditure that saw the department beginning the financial year with a R500-million deficit - mainly caused by weekend overtime claims.

"This forced the department to introduce drastic cost-cutting measures which included placing moratorium on the filling of certain posts," the minister said.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula called on all officials to join in ensuring a smooth transition from the five-day to the seven-day establishment.

Earlier in the day, the minister said: "We have always known that prisoners are incarcerated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

"Overtime consumed a lot of resources. Of course the five-day establishment set a precedent for people to earn extra money if they worked on Saturday and Sundays.

"We will look at the department's salary scales now to ensure they are compatible with the nature of the work that our members are doing.

"They must be comparable to the police and the army - they are all in the security cluster," the minister said.