Are there prison farmsin South Africa?

2017-03-02 06:00

I’M not sure if we have a minister responsible for such things, but is anyone in our government prepared to put their hand up and tell us why we have no prison farms in South Africa?

Land is not a problem, and nor, it would seem, is the availability of suitable staff.

The reason I ask this is because in the country I came from in the eighties, there were a number of very successful prison farms that not only rehabilitated the inmates mentally, giving them back their dignity and a reason to live a good life, but also taught them key skills - carpentry, farming, plumbing, electrical, etc., for the upliftment of their lives after incarceration.

These institutions produced excellent exportable quality crops and other food items, as well as saleable hardware items such as wooden and steel furniture, etc., which enabled them to self-fund.

I’m not sure what transpired after Robert Mugabe took over, probably the same as is happening in our country now with our current president, but surely there is merit in the concept?

Underutilised land would become productive again, people would be taught (not given) skills that would enable them to find employment and so earn an income after their release.

I would hazard a guess that it would be unconstitutional to force a person to
work against his or her will, but perhaps someone with the necessary portfolio could tell us why we have no such operations, or if we do, where they are and what they produce?


PAT MCKRILL

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