Prison population at 156 000

2013-08-27 16:42

Cape Town - The latest figures show there are more than 156 000 inmates in prisons around the country, more than a quarter of whom are awaiting-trial prisoners.

"As at 20 August [this year], there are a total of 156 370 inmates in our correctional facilities, of which 112 416 are sentenced offenders, and 43 954 are remand detainees," Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Tuesday, he said his department was committed to reducing overcrowding in its facilities.

"The [department] committed itself to reduce the level of overcrowding by at least 2% per annum in order to comply with the constitutional requirement to detain inmates under humane conditions."

Ndebele said correctional services had managed to reduce overcrowding in prisons from 38% in 2007/08, "to 28% as on 30 July [this year]".

  • Thabo Tebele - 2013-08-27 16:59

    I propose that we start hanging all those prisoners convicted of rape and muder.Especially those who are serving life sentences,why are we suppossed to feed them while they are lazying around all these years. We should also consider subjecting them through hard labour the least.

      hans.onrust.1 - 2013-08-27 17:38

      It will not happen incidently that victims of rape die of hunger and bad living conditions in the meanwhile indeed. Can very hard be seen as justice, with more than 100000 rapes a year.

      Willem de Haan - 2013-08-29 09:46

      Right on, Thebe. Too much humane treatment for these verminous predators. At R10 000 per month per criminal the poor law abiding citizen is burdened with this too. So your grandmother gets raped and murdered and you then have the privilege of contributing to the maintenance of the scumbag in humane conditions. Lovely! Great country!

  • Funwithgoats - 2013-08-27 16:59

    Bring back the death sentence .

      Poloyatonki Kgosi - 2013-08-27 17:09

      Hopefully your brother is not in jail.

      Dennis - 2013-08-27 17:36

      If my brother raped and killed then so be it.

      Funwithgoats - 2013-08-27 19:04

      Hopefully your mother hasn't been raped.

      Willem de Haan - 2013-08-29 09:49

      Poloyatonki deserves a visit from his criminal friends. Might learn something from it.

  • Ephraim Le-Nation - 2013-08-27 17:02

    and more than 200 000 out on parole. if prisoners were sentenced to a gun on the forehead everytime they committed a crime, we'd be having half the population we have today.

      Themba Maseko - 2013-08-27 17:55

      including racists...

      CG - 2013-08-27 19:13

      Themba are you reading something in that comment that is not said but you know to be true, do something constructive rather than spew a stupid response.

      Attie Stone - 2013-08-27 19:46

      CG; It's like playing chess with a pigeon...No matter how good you are, it will knock over the pieces, crap on the board & still strut around like it's victorious. It's just pointless.

  • Lizwa Andre Gcanga - 2013-08-27 17:05

    I clearly do not understand hw can thy be treated equal as if they havn't done anything these people are in for a reason and thy should be detaind i wat evr situation tht is posible because thy too have mistreated inosent people. Thy are doing things tht are highly unhuman. You say thy should be living in humanly conditions thy dtont desev the treatment thy are geting. The are people who are sufuring out thr who would apritioat the treatment given to inmates because thy eat and thy have places to sleep whreass thr are people suffering who are deseving for this treatment

  • Yondiswa Malerato Mothoa - 2013-08-27 17:06

    how about executing this clowns?

  • Godfrey Ndivhu - 2013-08-27 17:10

    who is feeding this people three times a day tjoooooo

      Ephraim Le-Nation - 2013-08-27 17:14

      and with that mentality, I wouldn't be shocked if a prison warden job came to you and you rejected it. change your attitude or you'll add up to the statistics

      Jerhone Swanepoel - 2013-08-27 18:56

      the only one's being punished is the tax payer because the ANC think they have reinvented the wheel dumbar*s

      Jon Low - 2013-08-28 22:04

      The taxpayer can be spared the expense of feeding and caring for prisoners simply by completely abandoning the whole idea of prisons. Would you really want that? Or are you happy to have bad criminals locked away safely rather than out roaming the streets? If you want to kill people just to save tax money, then clearly you see life as quite valueless. This would include your own life, because you're no more special than anyone else. Think again. And think with your brain this time.

      Willem de Haan - 2013-08-29 10:10

      Jon Low, since when is my life of less value than that of the criminal who murdered me? I value life and therefore I do not murder, but the murderer does not value life, he spits on your life, he kills you with no compunction, even more, he will torture you to death even when you are an old and defenceless woman! There is a vast difference. All our ancestors from time immemorial knew this and dealt with it accordingly. Because they were realists and not a bunch of softheaded idealists they got rid of the vermin in their midst in various ways and so proved to the innocent that their lives were at least as valuable as that of the criminal who unlawfully deprived them of it and that their innocent lives deserved protection. Our innate sense of justice demands a life for a life - at the very least it balances the scales. A prison sentence is only punishment, not justice, and in many cases a most insufficient punishment too. And it is exactly because I value life that I support the death penalty for those who unlawfully take it.

      Jon Low - 2013-08-29 11:42

      75% of all the world's judiciaries have scrapped the idea of the death penalty. That's not opinion -- it's fact, like it or not.

  • Kishen Maharaj - 2013-08-27 17:11

    They better not reduce overcrowding by releasing those dangerous rapists and murders,they deserve to die

      Jerhone Swanepoel - 2013-08-27 18:57

      lock half of them in Nklanda there's enough security there

      Petrus Smit - 2013-08-29 06:39

      The point that is not mentioned is how they are reducing overcrowding. Are the prisons enlarged, are more prisons being built or are they just reducing the sentences of the convicted criminals?

      Willem de Haan - 2013-08-29 10:15

      Well, Kishen, if they were all released on Robben Island and left with one bottle of brandy to share amongst them, I am sure that the problem would be solved within a day or two. You could then go back and charge the survivor with murder.

  • Clive Toerien - 2013-08-27 17:12

    build more prisons there is a hell of a lot of criminals still out there, and for those filthy pigs murdering people, hang there ass high, we the tax payers don't have to feed there ass.

      Jerhone Swanepoel - 2013-08-27 19:06

      we've still got Robin Island that could house 100000, what was good for Madiba is good enough for them, you don't even need guards just a patrole boat with a 50mm machine gun anyone in the water becomes dead shark meat they can grow their own food or their relatives can bear their sins and send them food, This will force parents to have less children or bring up the one's they have properly, less tax smiles all round

      Willem de Haan - 2013-08-29 10:17

      Maybe you could swallow them, Python?

  • Kyle McLaren - 2013-08-27 17:13

    Not enough!! Lets turn Zumaville into another prison!

      Whatalotigot Smarties - 2013-08-27 18:47

      Yes. They spend R200 million so nobody can get inside so if they lock people inside they can not get out. At least then our tax money would have been well spent on Nkandla.

  • Lums Zindela - 2013-08-27 17:14

    i'm sure you want to release your fellow criminals, typical of you. You call it parole , presidential pardon or correctional supervision but the bottom line you want to release them only for them to commit more crime. Hang them if you want to decrease the population in prisons, that will do us the community - justice

  • Ntlahla Tiva - 2013-08-27 17:23

    How's life in prison guys?

      Poloyatonki Kgosi - 2013-08-27 19:20

      They watch DSTV...

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2013-08-27 17:26

    So our society is teeming with undetected, unconvicted and paroled criminals? Wouldn't be suprised if the figure comes down to 10% next year same time!

  • Jack Jackson - 2013-08-27 17:28

    starve them so that they wouldnt wanna return,pap and salt every day.and have their before and after photos.

      Jon Low - 2013-08-28 22:08

      So, what happened to the Nazi SS when they carried out that plan?

  • Musawashe Moyo - 2013-08-27 17:34

    Prisoners got rights to 3 meals a day, shower, clean bedding and vaseline so dnt be cruel to them

  • Obadia Kgopolo Segwape - 2013-08-27 17:38

    that weans more criminals are outside we are so doomed

  • Quantronium - 2013-08-27 17:42

    And 256 000 criminals are cruising freely on our streets

  • Tony Wells - 2013-08-27 17:45

    At R100 a day, that is costing the tax payer nearly R16 million a day!! Maybe chain gangs could be of some use?

      Godfrey Ndivhu - 2013-08-27 19:26

      16million we can build a clinic somewere in a rural village

  • Duncan Sime - 2013-08-27 17:48


      Jon Low - 2013-08-28 22:09

      Netiquette. Look it up.

  • Keith Rowe - 2013-08-27 17:53

    According to official Police Statistics for 2011/2012 there were 3 608 serious crimes committed per 100 000 people = 3.6%. Therefore in 1 year 3.6% of 56 million people committed serious crime = 2 016 000 criminals. Something does not stack up here.

      Etienne Olivier - 2013-08-27 18:32

      It's your reasoning I'm afraid. One criminal can commit more than one crime. Dur

  • Nyaganyaga Ndawonda - 2013-08-27 17:57

    3 meals a day rent to pay. sock it to me

  • Thabo Modiba - 2013-08-27 18:03

    If 25% (39000) of these 156000 criminals are sentenced to life, they will cost tax payers R4680000000.00. However if we get a hang man @ R50k per head it will cost tax payers R1950000000.00 a massive saving of R2730000000.00.

  • Marius Burger - 2013-08-27 18:06

    So that's approx 0,3% of our population. Compared to our crime rates, somehow the Maths does not add up. Pardon the pun.

      Daphne Williams - 2014-03-30 15:05

      there are very much more than what they will admit !! add a million more to the figure they give.

  • Etienne Olivier - 2013-08-27 18:33

    I'm curious to know how many of those 156K inmates are there on drug charges

  • Shirley Redman - 2013-08-27 19:39

    Is that all!!!!!!!!

      Daphne Williams - 2014-03-30 15:06

      add a million to that figure just for murder.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2013-08-27 19:56

    Dewani still missing.

  • Deon K. Alexander - 2013-08-27 20:10

    156 000 inmates x r120.00 p/day = r18 720 000 does it cost the taxpayers p/day...

      Jon Low - 2013-08-29 01:16

      The alternative is to set them all free and forget about prisons. Want that?

  • Kevin Griffiths - 2013-08-27 20:39

    And 10x that number still running on the streets right about now.. If I was president I would build enough prisons, put those animals in, no clothes, water, food etc those stuffs that cause taxpayers money.. Just like in asian/middle east and south american prisons. I don't understand why government treats inmates like they are in some 5 star hotel. When these animals mug, rape and murder they don't feel a thing at all. I hate democrasy this is sht

  • Lindiwe Skosana - 2013-08-27 20:46

    I don't believe that figure for one second, if that was Gauteng alone then ja maybe

      Daphne Williams - 2014-03-30 15:07

      eastern cape alone must have DOUBLE that fugure

  • Garry Neusch - 2013-08-27 23:08

    Minister Ndebele states that the Dept of Correctional Services is committed to reducing the level of overcrowding in prisons. This can only be done by increasing the number of prison facilities or by releasing more people than are being admitted into the system. Does the Minister have an agreement with SAPS to arrest fewer offenders? Or is there an proposed amnesty coming up? Surely the Dept should focus on rehabilitating prisoners to TRY reduce reoffend rates. Or maybe we should just build more prisons - but that would that not be the responsibility of the Dept of Public Works?

  • Helen Brenkman - 2013-08-28 07:57

    Another epic fail for our incompetent government!

  • Sinoxolo Oz Magqabi - 2013-08-28 08:24

    And ZUMA is still outside nxa

  • Jon Low - 2013-08-28 21:54

    That's an abundant potential labour force who can be trained up to learn bricklaying, carpentry, glazing, electrical tech, plumbing and drainlaying, welding, fitting-and-turning, painting and plastering, etc. And then employed to build 1000 brand-new prisons, dotted around the country in small service towns where land is cheap. Which can then be staffed by Corrections (creating permanent jobs) and which will boost the economic viability of these small towns in which the warders and support staff will be housed.

      Ol Mabaso - 2013-08-28 22:06

      Hopefully in 2014, second half...brilliant!

  • Warwick Railton - 2013-08-29 06:26

    They should just put a high wall around parliament, that'll nab a couple hundred more. All free loader rubbish.

  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-08-29 07:54

    The government will find a easy solution. Release prisoners to show good will and buy votes. This WILL take place before elections. Just watch the press for further developments.

  • CallCentre Local - 2013-08-29 08:27

    "The [department] committed itself to reduce the level of overcrowding by at least 2% per annum in order to comply with the constitutional requirement to detain inmates under humane conditions." Yes by releasing half of them early on good behavior. This is definitely the right solution. That way prisons are less crowded and that way the non criminal, tax paying citizens who have been effected/harmed by these individuals can resume the life of fear that they previously had.

  • Marius Sardinha - 2013-08-29 08:36

    Prisoners are still human beings who need to keep their dignity intact ! Overcrowding in prisons is the lack of PLANNING !!! Crime is escalating in South Africa and realistically there needs to be improved Prisons to be built all over South Africa. One inmate per cell (The cell needs to be big enough for a basin a toilet and a bed (3x3 meters =9m2). With all these prisoners throughout the country the government can put them to good use and repair roads, clean-up public parks, maintain cities etc etc ! Just like they do in the states (The Chain Gang)any attempt to escape will be shot dead ! Municipalities will save millions of rand by incompetent and non willing workers employed to keep things in order !

  • Badger - 2013-08-29 09:07

    Do not worry, at the next prezzie birthday, they will release 100 000 inmates

  • Alexander Dowding - 2013-08-29 09:20

    And how many of these prisoners are in there for simple drug possession? We can't afford to waste prison space and taxpayers money feeding and housing drug offenders while so many rapists and murderers continue to plague our society.

  • Gert Van Wyk - 2013-08-29 09:27

    EISH Soon Showerhead will pardon thousands to make the numbers look better

  • June Francis - 2013-08-29 12:58

    only 156000 . Considering that crimes are committed every single day thats incredibily low.

  • Highway Angel - 2013-08-31 00:32

    Someone needs to learn how to count here. Where on earth did you get these figures from? In May 2013 the population in prisons was sitting at 160 000. Since then been 3 months 75 000 extra prisoners were taken in. Now to my knowledge 160 plus 75 is 235 000.00 Take the costs of R8k per inmate the tax payer pays a month you in for a shocking surprise. Time SA woke up and brought the death sentence back. Why should we look after some killer for 25 years. Our Justice system sucks and so do the clowns that made the Law of abolishing the death sentence. Bring that back and you will see a better and safer SA!!

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