The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says it welcomes the decision by African Global Operations (AGO), formerly known as Bosasa, to go into voluntary liquidation.
"We particularly welcome this latest development bearing in mind the negative reputational damage they have both inflicted on the functionality of this department, and are of the view that there should be urgent measures in ensuring the retrieval of funds and current accounts between the two be halted," the union said in a statement on Monday.
AGO confirmed in a statement on Monday morning that it was under voluntary liquidation after its banks communicated a decision to close down the company's banking facilities.
Popcru said that it was crucial that the process undertaken by Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha to determine the possibility of reviewing the department's contracts with AGO be conducted with the input of all relevant stakeholders.
"It is quite eminent that the future of the DCS (Department of Correction Services) is not left in the hands of only a few, but becomes something that all stakeholders engage in. We mention this in particular because some people have for the longest time pleaded ignorance to the plight of correctional officers across our correctional centres as expressed by the minister in past days," it said.
The union added that the outsourcing of incarceration to private prisons and private companies had constrained public oversight in correctional centres. It has also given the politically influential private security industry a perverse incentive, subsidised by taxpayers' funds, which must end, it said.
"We are not about to sit idle while the very people who had been afforded the opportunity to serve their nation with dignity attempt to take corrective measures against what they silently observed over the years without our inputs," it said.
It also said it was important to ensure that those involved in the process of fixing the department were taken to task without fear of favour.
The union called for tender processes to be halted to ensure that correctional centres become self-sufficient. It said that would lead to inmates being skilled and reduce the rate of reoffenders, which stands at 85%.
"We should all be at the centre of all these deliberations in regaining drastically changing the direction the DCS has over these years been driven towards," it added.