R40m for awaiting trial prison uniforms

2012-03-26 10:00

Johannesburg - Uniforms for prisoners awaiting trial will cost correctional services nearly R40m, Beeld reported on Monday.

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in response to a parliamentary question from ANC MP Winnie Ngwenya that 100 000m of material had already been purchased for the manufacture of the uniforms.

The rest would be bought in the new financial year, after which the uniforms would be made and readied for distribution in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Article 48 of the Correctional Matters Amendment Bill would only be promulgated after the uniform manufacturing process was completed, Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe said R40m sounded like an exorbitant sum of money.

"I think the department is being charged too much," he was quoted by Beeld as saying.

"Awaiting trial prisoners are transient, so these uniforms won't be worn for very long. How many uniforms are actually being manufactured? Can't they just be washed and handed to the next prisoner?"

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