Smiles all round at Grootvlei Prison

The entrance to Grootvlei prison. Photo: Wits Justice Project -

It was smiles all round as delegates from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) congratulated the Department of Correctional Services on the improvements made to the Grootvlei Prison outside Bloemfontein in the last year.

The correctional facility announced it is currently in the process of upgrading its power supply, and the procurement of a backup generator forms part of this.

Inconsistent power supply at the prison had perturbed NCOP members during their Taking Parliament to the People programme in 2017. Other notable improvements included the filling of medical posts at the facility, which did not include a pharmacy assistant, something which appeared to concern delegates briefly.

When probed about this, Correctional Services Regional Commissioner in the Free State and Northern Cape, Subashini Moodley, told those present that the challenge isn’t unique to this prison, it’s a trend that can be seen throughout the country.

Chairperson of the group of delegates, Mandla Rayi, commended the officials on the work done thus far. Rayi said this after delegates were taken on a tour of the prison, which included the hospital wing.

The successful visit to the prison concludes the oversight visit for the first of the two NCOP teams in Bloemfontein. The second team will head to Pelonomi Hospital this afternoon, right before six public meetings are held throughout the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and the Xhariep District Municipality.

Olebogeng Motse / OFM News