ICT access for offenders

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pretoria – Life will never be the same again for the offenders at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre in Pretoria, thanks to the donation of 100 computers from the Department of Tourism and private sector partners.

As part of Youth Month celebrations, Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa today officially opened two Computer Training Facilities and presented the full accreditation of the facility to the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA), as a recognised training centre.

Addressing the media after the presentation of the laptops and a walkabout at the centres, Minister Xasa said correctional supervision is not only the responsibility of Correctional Services but is a societal responsibility.

“Most of the incarcerated people are young people, they have a chance to be reintegrated back in society, they need skills that they will use when they are out there,” she said.

Minister Xasa is championing the nationwide initiative intended to empower the South African Youth in conflict with the law with education, scarce and critical skills development support in order to enhance their rehabilitation process and opportunities for sustainable social and economic reintegration upon release, parole and probation.

The Minister explained that their intention is to continue donating laptops to other facilities. “We aim to discourage the ex-offenders from coming back to these facilities,” she said.

Correctional Services Regional Commissioner Mandla Mkhabela expressed gratitude for the donation of the computers. “We really appreciate this partnership. Rehabilitation is not only Correctional Services responsibility, it’s a societal responsibility,” he said. Mkhabela said the computers will be distributed to six centres in Gauteng.

One of the inmates, Belinda Nombuya, 29, from Garankuwa, who is serving a six-year sentence for theft, told SAnews that she is excited about the donation of the computers. “I am excited to be using the computers,” she said.

Andy Hedley, General Manager at an IT company, Amadeus, said they were grateful to be part of the initiative. “We are very proud to be part of the initiative. We are involved in a number of community projects,” he said.

Hedley said inmates can use the internet to grow their knowledge and computer skills.

Minister Xasa was accompanied by North West and Limpopo MECs for Tourism, Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, Seaparo Sekoati and Desbo Mohono, partners, sponsors and sector stakeholders.

Minister Xasa is championing the nationwide initiative in partnership with Youth Civil Society, the National Applications Centre (NAC) and the Department of Correctional Services. The initiative is sponsored by the Amadeus IT Group (www.amadeus.com), Iberia Airlines (www.iberia.es) and merSETA (www.merseta.org.za). – SAnews.gov.za