Broadcaster cries foul over 'broken promise'
A programme that trained thousands of Cape Town prisoners in radio broadcasting has been brought to a halt because the Department of Correctional Services has delayed the introduction of television and radio services for prisons.
Prison Broadcasting Network, which has broadcast to more than 20000 prisoners in Pollsmoor for 10 years, and trained prisoners to become radio presenters and music producers, was forced to close in July last year.
Marius Boaden, the founder and CEO of the network, said that the department's delay in introducing television and radio services for prisons had left the broadcaster's future hanging in the balance.
Boaden said the broadcaster had lost its major funder, and volunteers, because of the delay.
"My radio station, sound studio and TV facilities are still in Pollsmoor - they have been locked up for a year," Boaden said.
Boaden said Thomas Moyane, the National Commissioner for Correctional Services, had promised to reinstate the service and roll it out to other prisons.
He said the then minister of correctional services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said in March that the service would be reinstated but that is yet to happen.
Moyane said the network's contract had come to an end but the department wanted to put out it to tender.
He denied that Mapisa-Nqakula had said anything about the reinstatement of the service.
"Certainly it is something we would like to have as a communication tool but it can not be exclusive to one company," Moyane said.