Correctional services lashes Cope for saying department faced collapse
The department of correctional services (DCS) said on Tuesday that allegations levelled against it by the Congress of the People (Cope) were unfortunate and could be defined as sensational.
Cope held a media briefing on Monday, claiming that the department was collapsing under the weight of mismanagement and corruption.
Party spokesperson Dennis Bloem also claimed that staff told him there was a a shortage of uniforms, that weekend overtime pay had been reduced or stopped and pay progression and promotions stopped for ordinary workers but enjoyed by a few politically connected senior managers.
In its response to the allegations, the department said it was transparent in its operations and had been responding to issues that continued to emerge.
“At no point was the department approached by Cope to table concerns raised by some DCS officials. As a department, we value the role that officials contribute in transforming corrections in this country,” said department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.
He said there were dedicated channels being utilised by staff members to raise concerns. Nxumalo said it was a departmental duty to engage with officials and resolve whatever challenges that might exist.
“The matters of remuneration for overtime worked, pay progression and promotions are addressed through the collective bargaining processes, and DCS ensures that it complies with collective agreements,” Nxumalo said.
He said with regards to uniforms, the department had distributed available uniforms to the regions for further dissemination.
“We have gone a step further to ensure that financial provision is made available for the acquisition of additional uniforms, which once delivered will be disseminated to all centres.”