Public Works Department must take responsibility for dilapidated public infrastructure, says committee chair
27 January 2021
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has resolved to summon the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) to Parliament to respond to complaints of alleged failure to maintain public buildings, such as courts and prisons.
The committee visited the Barberton Correctional Centre and Community Corrections as part of its week-long oversight visit to courts and correctional centres, to assess correctional centres’ rehabilitation, skills development and integration programmes.
The committee heard complaints about the lack of maintenance at facilities including fire extinguishers that have been allowed to expire or have not been serviced.
Committee Chairperson Mr Bulelani Magwanishe: “What will happen if there is a fire and prisoners die here? What is going to the perception about South Africa? We don’t want another Life Esidimeni. We are going to be very hard on DPWI. We will invite the Director-General to explain why there are these types of complaints about court buildings and prisons, while there are people employed every day.”