Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, today conducted a site visit at the Waterval Correctional Centre in Utrecht, Kwa-Zulu Natal, which was damaged by a tornado that tore the area Friday night.
Four cells in the Medium B facility and 46 houses used by officials were damaged by the tornado. 141 inmates from Medium B were transferred to nearby Correctional Centres, namely Ncome and Escort. Electricity and water supply at the centre have been disrupted but there are contingency plans in place.
Non governmental organizations are providing meals to officials who are displaced and they will continue doing so until Tuesday where further assessments will be done. The Department of Correctional Services is also providing temporary shelter for officials affected. Operations at the Centre have normalized and offenders are safe and accounted for.
Minister Lamola said he was happy that no fatalities were recorded during the tornado. He applauded the integrated approach among different government departments from all spheres of government in terms of disaster management.
“We have normalized operations and our officials are working hard to ensure that the Centre continues to operate even under difficult conditions,”.
“The damage was severe more especially at the official residences and we will work around the clock to active our emergency plans,” Minister Lamola says.
He also addressed offenders and encouraged them to continue undergoing rehabilitation programmes so that upon their release, they can contribute positively to society and become upstanding citizens.
The facilities section in Correctional Services will meet with their Public Works counterparts to further assess the situation and make plans to repair the Centre.
Issued by the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
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