The IFP has voiced its concerns about the new payment reward programme introduced by the Minister of Correctional Services, Mr Sbu Ndebele, whereby prisoners will be paid up to R20 000 when they are released from prison for work undertaken through a new trading entity to be established by the Department.
IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu MP, said, "Isn't it enough that prisoners are given skills and work experience to use when they are released in order to make a living? The promise of money will entice people to deliberately commit crimes with the hope that they will get money when they are released from prison."
The IFP believes that the Department of Correctional Services should look at the causes of crime first and find solutions to those. The implementation of this programme would give the impression that "crime does pay" and if one is found guilty of a minor crime, then they stand in line to receive free money from the Government.
Ndlovu continued, "Prisoners are already getting free tertiary education in prison while there are many law-abiding citizens who struggle to get into tertiary institutions. It is unfair that prisoners will be offered jobs by the Department of Correctional Services when there are many law-abiding citizens who are unemployed. The Department should hire unemployed, law-abiding citizens who have not resorted to crime and assist them to make a living."
Nevertheless, the IFP supports the idea that prisoners will be used to build 20 schools. "That must be viewed as their way of giving back to the community as well as a way for them to gain some work experience. A lot of taxpayers' money is already used on prisoners and they cannot now be given cash on top of that," concluded Ndlovu.
IFP Parliamentary Caucus' Media Liaison Officer, Ms Boniswa Tiwe, 083 9861 022