Casual Day – Mandela 67 minutes of service at Cresset House in Midrand

Casual Day ambassadors Luvo Nelani, Nicole Laxton, Kashveera Chanderjith, Khumo Moyane & Thapelo Mokoena

Mandela Day is very special for the Casual Day team and each year the team visits a different school, centre or organisation that renders services to persons with disabilities. This year several of Casual Day’s new ambassadors spent 18 July at Cresset House, a self-sustaining community providing residential and work facilities for 60 adults with intellectual disabilities, including those with Down Syndrome and Autism.

The Casual Day team was there to assist the residents to decorate their hall for a big party. “Mandela Day and Casual Day have this in common: both projects aim to empower communities everywhere. Casual Day seeks to be instrumental in seeing persons with disabilities being included fully in society as interdependent contributors to a better society,” says Casual Day project leader Celeste Vinassa.

The ambassadors that visited Cresset House are Kashveera Chanderjith, the first profoundly deaf chartered accountant in South Africa and audit manager at Anglo American; Tujay Harmonix – or Jonathan Groenewald – a hip hop artist with Muscular Dystrophy; Khumo Moyane, who has a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta or ‘brittle bones’; Nicole Laxon, who has Absence Epilepsy, and Luvo Nelani, a human rights activist in the field of disability.

“Our ambassadors are persons with disabilities or people who have dedicated themselves to fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities,” says project leader Celeste Vinassa. “They speak from experience and knowledge about disability. It’s called ‘self-advocacy’. They are all people who have overcome great adversity, and are now ready to help Casual Day with its evolution.

“Casual Day changes lives one R10 sticker at a time. Our ambassadors are there to give society a deeper understanding of the world of disability and how to make the world a more respectful and nurturing place for everybody.”

Cresset House is situated in Glen Austin, Midrand (between the two major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria), on an expansive property covering eleven hectares. The facility comprises six residential houses, a bakery, an organic vegetable garden, ten vegetable tunnels, a woodwork centre, craft centres and contracts workshops, a stimulation centre, an administrative block and a community hall.

The over-arching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better – this is what Casual Day beneficiary organisations will be doing on Friday 5 September 2014, but it is never too early to start planning to dress up in the 2014 theme, which is Bring out the Bling!

“Cresset House is a long-time participant in Casual Day and we do encourage everyone in the Midrand area to get their stickers from Cresset House 011 314 1148 or 011 314 1848 or email zen.rankin@gmail.com. Schools and businesses in the area can create community spirit in action by donation R10 for their sticker,” she says.

Casual Day is South Africa’s most successful fundraising project for persons with disabilities – and the amount raised for last year has climbed to R24.8 million. Sponsored by The Edcon Group, Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), which this year celebrates 75 years of service to the community of persons with disabilities.

Concludes Vinassa: “This year we celebrate Casual Day’s 20th birthday and invite everyone to help us celebrate the work of all our beneficiaries which are committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. Apart from the services they provide to their constituencies, they are involved in advocacy and lobbying for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream society. All our national beneficiaries are committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities – and are representative of a spectrum of conditions and disabilities.”

The beneficiaries of Casual Day are:

National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA

South African National Council for the Blind

South African Federation for Mental Health

Deaf Federation of South Africa

Autism South Africa

Down Syndrome South Africa

National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy

South African National Deaf Association

National Institute for the Deaf

Alzheimer’s South Africa

South African Disability Alliance

QuadPara Association of South Africa.

www.casualday.co.za

FB: www.facebook.com/casualdaySA

Twitter: @CasualDay_SA

#BringouttheBling

#CasualDaySA

Limpopo Police foil business robbery: seven suspects nabbed

A joint crime intelligence lead operation secured the arrest of seven armed robbers in Groblersdal on Saturday.   Police received a tip-off about a business robbery and members from the Tactical Response Team (TRT) laid in wait for the robbers to arrive.

Five of the seven suspects were seen alighting from their vehicle and proceeded to the business premises.  On noticing the suspects the police warned them to surrender however they retaliated and started firing back.  A gun battle ensued leaving one suspect wounded in the arm.   The other four suspects surrendered and subsequent investigations lead to the arrest of a security guard and business assistant believed to be part of the group.

During the shooting, a 62 year-old taxi driver was allegedly shot in the face by one of the suspects while pouring petrol.  He was rushed to Groblersdal hospital and is currently in a stable but serious condition.

Meanwhile, three illegal firearms with ammunition and a blue VW Polo were confiscated by the police.  The injured suspect was treated at the local hospital and later discharged.  The suspects aged between 20 and 49, four from Gauteng and three locals,  will appear in the Groblersdal Magistrates’ Court soon facing charges of armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms . Police investigations continue.

Also view:

Does your alarm system meet the requirements of business insurance?

How can I protect my business from burglary?

Five alleged rhino poachers arrested at Phinda Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

On 9 July 2014 during the day, a joint operation by Durban Organised Crime Unit, Nyathi Anti-Poaching and Special Task Force were patrolling around Hluhluwe when they received information about a group of people who were suspected to be poaching at Phinda Game reserve.

The members started to intensify their patrols and they spotted five suspects inside the Game reserve.

When the officers approached the suspects, it is alleged that the suspects fired shots towards the members and the members retaliated and one suspect was wounded.

All five suspects were arrested and they were found in possession of an unlicensed hunting rifle with three live rounds, a silencer and an axe.

All arrested suspects aged between 17 and 38 years will appear in the Hluhluwe Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 facing charges of illegal hunting, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni applauded the members for the good work. “Police will work tirelessly to fight and combat illegal hunting including rhino poaching,” she said.

Also view:

Crime as a Threat to Road Safety in South Africa

Ford Is Bringing 25 New Vehicles to Middle East and Africa by 2016

  • Ford Middle East and Africa responsible for 67 markets
  • Newly established structures aim to support growth in the region
  • One Ford strategy will see a growing line-up of new or refreshed vehicles entering the market

PRETORIA, South Africa, 18 July, 2014 - Ford announced that it is bringing 25 new vehicles to Middle East and African markets by 2016 as part of its aggressive expansion plans in its newest business unit, Middle East and Africa (MEA).  Spanning Saudi Arabia to South Africa, and Nigeria to Kenya, Ford’s new MEA unit is comprised of 67 markets.

“Ford is bringing a full family of safe, high quality, fuel efficient and fun-to-drive cars, trucks and SUVs to customers throughout the Middle East and Africa region,” said Jim Benintende president, Ford Middle East and Africa.  “MEA is the final frontier for global growth in the auto industry and thanks to the power of our One Ford plan, we are able to offer vehicles here that our customers want and value.”

Vehicle sales in the MEA are expected to grow by 40 percent by the end of the decade to 5.5 million vehicles.  Ford is putting the right structure and people in place in order to bring a full family of vehicles that customers will want to the region.

Ford’s MEA business unit underscores Ford’s commitment to customers in a region where Ford and Lincoln sales grew up to 60 percent in the past four years.

To take advantage of growth opportunities, Ford has combined the four regions of North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and the Middle East into a single business unit, with all sales, share and financial reporting consolidated for the 67 Ford markets. The new Ford Middle East and Africa operation – Ford’s fifth global business unit – is headquartered in Dubai.

“The Middle East and Africa region is vast and is comprised of very diverse markets with different political, cultural and economic environments,” Benintende said. “In order to best support the region it has been imperative that we establish a robust operation with a dedicated focus and clear understanding of the unique conditions and customer needs in these markets.”

To attain that dedicated focus and support the diversity of the markets, Middle East and Africa is now being managed in two sub-regions – South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa. While regional operations are headquartered in Dubai, Ford maintains regional offices in both South Africa and Dubai.

“The new business unit will give the region the focus it deserves and help spearhead Ford’s continued growth in emerging markets. Africa is one of the youngest markets in the world, and there is an opportunity to provide an affordable product for the people of the continent,” he continued.

Benintende emphasised that priorities include supporting Ford’s dealer network throughout the Middle East and Africa to service customer needs. Ford currently sells about 200,000 vehicles a year throughout the Middle East and Africa region.

Also view:

Vehicle Finance, Car Insurance and Road Safety

Buying and Selling a Vehicle – Informed decisions and the Vehicle Retailer

Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon Results Released

Results of the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon and Marathon are:

42km:
Men:
1. Lloyd Bosman 02:29:00 (open category), 2. Tsepang Ramonene 02:30:55 (open), 3. Ben Brimble 02:36:04 (open).

Women:
1. Linda Tucker 03:03:03 25th overall (40-49 years), 2. Sonya Baard 03:04:09 26th overall (open), 3. Olga Backeberg 03:09:15 34th overall (40-49 years).

21km:
Men:
1. Ettiene Plaatjies 01:05:27 (open), 2. Melikhaya Frans 01:10:04 (open), 3. Petrus Jacobs 01:10:13 (open).

Women:
1. Ulrica Stander 01:23:45 34th overall (open), 2. Melissa van Rensburg 01:26:30 51st overall (open), 3. Liza Bright 01:27:28 57th overall (open).

Full results can be found on the Knysna Marathon Club website: http://esctiming.com/eventresults/fm2014

Also view:

Running/ Jogging and Road Safety

World-Class Wineries and DJ Euphonik Launch the TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival

If wine tasting, house music and fabulous food sounds like a divine date, then you are in for a treat because TOPS at SPAR are taking you on a date to remember as they confirm that thirteen of South Africa’s leading wineries, all pioneers in wine excellence, will be showcasing their premium wines at the inaugural boutique TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival, happening on the 25 and 26 July 2014 at the K-CAP Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre in KwaMashu, Durban.

These leading estates and producers exhibiting include Meerlust, Simonsig, Haute Cabriere, Rietvallei, Rupert & Rothschild, Ernie Els Wines, De Grendel Wines and La Motte alongside iconic household names such as Cederberg, Robertson Winery and Leopard’s Leap.

Durban Tourism and the KZN Film Commission have been instrumental in the launch of this festival. The festival media launch happening on Mandela Day at the venue will see media and VIPs unveil a special project undertaken to beautify the area near the venue, and especially created to inspire the children, which attend the primary school some metres away.

Phillip Sithole, Head of Durban Tourism, proudly states that The City of Durban is looking forward to the prestigious TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine and Lifestyle Festival to be held for the first time in our city.

“The Festival creates the perfect platform to celebrate the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Durban and we are pleased that at the same time our vibrant culture and ekasi lifestyle of our townships, will be reflected and experienced during the 2 day Festival in KwaMashu. We acknowledge that events of this nature also uplift our local communities and we value the training programmes associated with this event. We look forward to a successful event in the heart of our energy driven townships and we look forward to our locals being exposed to the art and lifestyle of wine which South Africa is famous for and plays an important role in promoting tourism.”

Bringing the heartbeat to the festival is avid believer in youth empowerment and flag bearer for House music, DJ Euphonik, who says it will be his aim to “put smiles on people’s faces” on launch night, Friday the 25th July, as he promises to play his unique upbeat music to guests and visitors whilst they learn the art of wine tasting. TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival media partner, Gagasi FM, will also be bringing DJ LeSoul on Friday night, while on Saturday the station’s DJ Vumar and DJ Sonic will be playing.

The art of wine tasting is not about drinking wine. It is about savouring, contemplating and discussing the characteristics of the wine with fellow tasters. “Tasting” involves using your senses to evaluate the range of perceived flavours, aromas and general characteristics of a wine. Tasting is done in five steps - smell, swirl, sip and savour and swallow, or when wine tasting, spit, to avoid getting too tipsy.

‘Disco-Wine’, meaning discover wine, is our term for the fun path to discovering wine as it is acknowledged that learning the art of wine tasting and etiquette can be intimidating, but these festivals are for everybody, from first-time toe dippers to wine connoisseurs. At the TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival, it starts with having fun as you ‘disco-wine’ in a non-intimidating environment in your own hood.

Education is a priority at the TOPS at SPAR festivals and the KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival is no different. For those wishing to broaden their knowledge, take a free class on the art of wine and food pairing, presented by Busi Yende, manager of the North at the Cape Wine Academy. Busi will take visitors through the principals on ‘wine and food pairing’ and the reasons behind these in the most fun and entertaining way so that you can take this information home with you and amaze your friends and family.

In a commitment to education and employment TOPS at SPAR have sponsored the hospitality training and management of students who will be on hand to assist the wine exhibitors allowing wineries to focus on delighting the pallets of visitors and VIPs on the night. This training will give students expert front of house experience.

Says Mark Robinson, TOPS at SPAR Group Liquor Manager, “We are incredibly excited to launch the inaugural TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine and Lifestyle Festival, which will present South Africa’s finest wines to our KwaMashu residents, friends and invited VIPs. This festival promises to be a 5-star event on the KZN calendar and it all starts here!”

TOPS at SPAR invites KwaMashu residents and friends, celebrities and invited guests to enjoy what sister-festival fans of the TOPS at SPAR Gugulethu and Soweto Wine Festivals already know, that when a sister-festival launches in your hood, scrap all plans and book your tickets quick because the stage is set to transform the K-Cap Film School into a soiree of wine, music, glamour and glitz, with visitors being treated to a VIP experience that the TOPS at SPAR wine festivals are famed for.

###

Public sale tickets for the TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival are limited and can be purchased through Webtickets - www.webtickets.co.za - at a cost of R150 per ticket.

Festival details:

TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine & Lifestyle Festival
Dates: 25-26 July 2014
Times: Fri: 6pm-10pm | Sat: 5pm-9pm
Venue: K-CAP Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, 25 Giya Road, KwaMashu

We urge attendees to plan ahead and avoid impaired driving!

View:

Drunk Driving and Road Safety

Swift response by Upington Police lead to the arrest of five suspects for stock theft

Swift response by members of Upington Police in the Northern Cape resulted in the arrests of five suspects for alleged stock theft. It is alleged that on Monday afternoon, 14 July 2014, the suspects were caught pushing a Ford Cortina bakkie on the main road towards Namibia.

According to information it is alleged that the car ran out of petrol forcing the suspects to push it. Six Dorper sheep was found at the back of the bakkie. The value of the sheep is about R6000 each. The suspects aged between 29 and 49 years old respectively appeared in the Upington Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 on a charge of Stock Theft. They were denied bail and were remanded in custody until 22 July 2014.

The Station Commander of SAPS Upington, Col Sampie Koopman commended his members for their alertness and swift response.

Kwaito star Heavy K – DRUMBOSS to perform to home crowds at Mandela Month Celebrations

NMBT CEO, Ms M Skefile joins Heavy K at Masande Edu-care Centre in Ezinyoka to commence 67 minutes with the centre owner and children.

13 July 2014 saw popular kwaito star Heavy K – DRUMBOSS return to his roots to perform to home crowds in order to kick of Mandela Month Celebrations. Together with the support of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) national and local artists took to the stage at Ezinyoka Community Hall to raise funds for community projects.

Masande Edu-care Centre in Ezinyoka became the beneficiary of goods donated by the group of artists who decided to donate a portion of the door collections to the centre.  The centre provides shelter and care for up to 46 children on a daily basis from Monday to Friday with minimum supplies and space.

The lineup of artists that joined in to perform to participate in Madiba’s legacy of a “time to share” included Sdudla Mathousand, Rice Ravern Ortega – with Cresta X, Babyjoe with Kingjade and local DJ’s Skuru and Youngmoney.

Heavy K who originates from Veeplaas, NMB shared, “It is so important for us as artists to remember where our stories started and return there to lift up the communities in order to give them the hope to achieve dreams like we have.”

This was just one of many projects that will be supported and taken on by institutions such as the Mandela Bay Development Agency and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism during Mandela Month. Other projects include solar panel installations and painting at SAMREC on the 18 July, vegetable garden project to be launched on Monday 21st July in Kwanobuhle and a party for children from a development centre on the Donkin and Route 67 with the MBDA on Friday, 18 July.

Addressing the MBDA’s involvement, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Pierre Voges says “Although the agency is predominantly focused in Tourism Real Estate development, we recognize our strategic role is in the broader socio economic development of the Bay, that includes the people side of our work. No infrastructure development can work without touching lives and impacting people first and that is why we are excited to be associated with this initiative, it compliments all the social interventions in areas such as Walmer township, Central, Singaphi street in New Brighton, Helenvale and Veeplaas”

Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth Uitenhage and Despatch) the only destination privileged to bear the name of Madiba will unite through the implementation of a variety of service  projects throughout the Bay and show the world why it is known as the city of Freedom.

NMBT CEO, Ms  Mandlakazi Skefile encourages all citizens to participate even if it is only for just one day, saying” Mr Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life for the democracy of our country, let us return the favour to honour his legacy of 67 minutes of service to create not only a better place to visit but to live.”

Correctional Services Budget Vote Speech 2014/15 reveals magnitude of crime in South Africa

Correctional Services Budget Vote Speech – 2014/15

By

Advocate Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, MP

National Assembly – Cape Town
16 July 2014

Honourable Speaker
Honourable Members of Parliament
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Mr Thabang Makwetla
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Mr John Jeffrey
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services Dr Mathole Motshekga
Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Mr Zach Modise
Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services’ Judge Vuka Shabalala
Chairperson of the National Council of Correctional Services Judge Seraj Desai
Chairperson of the Medical Parole Advisory Board Dr. Ramatisela

Distinguished guests from our strategic partners

Executive Management and officials of Correctional Services

Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to present the budget vote speech – Vote 21 – to this august house to mark the beginning of a new journey of the fifth democratic parliament with our revamped and integrated Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services.

Honourable Speaker, we are encouraged by the President’s decision to integrate the two ministries of Justice and Correctional Services. This decision is set to mark a new beginning in the efforts of this government to build a “just, fair, prosperous and equitable” society that everyone can proudly call home as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).

The Department of Correctional Services contributes to the achievement of a safe country through implementation of a number of programmes, and the following are Key Issues for Service Delivery:

Down management of congestion in correctional centres

The resolve of the South African government to fight crime through, among others, the introduction of minimum sentence legislation and the broadening of the sentencing jurisdiction to cover lower courts, resulted in an exponential increase of inmate population between 1995 and 2004 from 116 846 to 187 036. This worsened the country’s international profile in respect of incarceration rate registering 403 inmates per 100 000 population.

To address overcrowding, a multi-pronged overcrowding management strategy was adopted, including the strengthening of diversion programmes, alternative sentencing, building of additional bed spaces, better management of the parole system and promotion of successful social re-integration and reduction of re-offending.
These bore good results as we reduced the inmate population by 31 000 from 187 036 in 2004 to 157 170 by the end of March 2014, a reduction of 29866 in ten years, which equals 16%.

We still have a long way to go because despite progress made in reducing overcrowding in general and incarceration rate from 403 to 292 inmates per 100 000 population. Part of the solution is the construction of 5900 additional bed spaces by 2019, broadening of the use of electronic monitoring of inmates and their placement under community corrections.

Strengthening of oversight and advisory structures

Besides overcrowding we have noted that incidents of violence and gang related atrocities among offenders as well as the stabbings of officials continue to increase in some areas. We have set up a high level national task team to investigate these incidents, assess our security systems and make recommendations on the type, scale and scope of intervention to arrest and reverse them. The task team has begun its work in St Albans Correctional Centre in Nelson Mandela Bay – Eastern Cape, where we have witnessed continued incidents of violence.
I note with appreciation the good work of the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services under the leadership of Judge Vuka Tshabalala. We will endeavour to ensure that nothing inhibits their ability to provide the constitutionally guaranteed judicial oversight on Correctional Services going forward.

Improving the remand detention system

In March 2014 the Department of Correctional Services concluded a ground breaking policy framework on the management of remand detainees, with the passing of the White Paper on Remand Detention in South Africa. The policy seeks to close a gap left by the White Paper on Corrections passed in 2005 as well as the amendment made to the Correctional Services Act.
Through continued transformation of the country’s remand detention system, South Africa is now urging closer to the ideal international target of 25% of all inmates being remand detainees, Since the year 2000, remand detainees have been reduced by 31.9% from 63 954 to 41 690 in June 2014, of which 5% (1922) has spent at least two years in custody.

This is a product of increased collaboration by various partners within the criminal justice system which will be further enhanced with this establishment of an integrated Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services. Interventions include the tracking of these categories of remand detainees for periodic referral to courts in line with Section 49G of the Correctional Services Act as amended. The Office of the Criminal Justice Review has recently started looking at the top 20 longest awaiting trial detainees in order to address human rights issues and the right to a speedy trial.

It is estimated that over 95% of inmates will return to the society after doing time for various offences. Presently in South Africa 69% of 157 170 inmates are the youth of 35 years of age or younger, most of them are from broken families, with a weak understanding and commitment to key social values, poor education levels and generally with little to lose.
We will continue to build on the foundation established since the advent of democracy in terms of our rehabilitation interventions by ensuring that from 2014/15 financial year, 64% of offenders’ complete correctional programmes and that an 80% participation rate of offenders enrolled in education and skills development programmes is maintained.
We will step up the collaboration with among others, established universities, the National Youth Development Agency, the Sector Education and Training Agencies, the Departments of Basic and Higher

Education as well as Labour.

Health Care Services

The Department has ensured access to effective primary health care while those in need of secondary and tertiary health care services are taken to public health care facilities. The fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS as well as tuberculosis will be intensified. We will improve the percentage of inmates that tested for HIV from 68% of 157 170 inmates to 70% while the TB cure rate will be improved from 75% to 80%.

Optimising technology alternatives to incarcerations and for victim participation

In November 2014 we expect to launch a video-conferencing system in all 53 Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) offices in South Africa. This innovation is intended to help reduce the barriers of participation in the parole hearings like physical distance and language barriers to our efforts of centralising victims in the determination of offender parole hearings. Although phenomenal progress was made since 2009 in mobilizing victims to participate in parole hearings of the CSPB, from just 108 to 1125 cases per year, this still represents less than five percent of hearings that result in parole placements of offenders that roughly reaches 25 000. With this video conferencing capacity, built with funding from the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA), victims can be informed to go to their nearest CSPB offices and be linked to the actual parole board hearings.

Social Reintegration:

We will embark on an intensive campaign of promoting alternative sentences within the cluster, establish social compacts to strengthen social acceptance of ex-offenders, enhance restorative justice and tightening the supervision of parolees, probationers and remand detainees. Although there has been phenomenal improvement in compliance with conditions of probationers and parolees from 82% in 2012/13 to 94% in 2013/14, the Department will invest more on building the credibility of the system among the criminal justice partners and communities.
Honourable Speaker, I am delighted to say there are many pockets of excellence within the Department of Correctional Services where unemployed youth from surrounding communities gets brought in over a period of time to be trained with offenders in among others motor mechanics, furniture making, electrical engineering and in business management.

Building of institutional capacity

We shall ensure that the Department functions at full capacity with respect to the filling of strategic vacant posts including the posts of National Commissioner, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Management and the Regional Commissioner of Limpopo Mpumalanga and North West region. This will be done as part of ensuring that all strategic and operational vacant positions are filled. We have planned to also train an average of 16 500 officials each year in line with the Workplace Skills Plan to gear the Department of Correctional Services for a heightened delivery of services over the next five years and beyond.

Alongside the human capital focus, will be the modernization of the correctional system in order to provide a reliable, integrated and secured information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and system. This includes an Integrated Inmate Management System for a single-view of inmate and offender information based on biometric identification of inmates and offenders to curtail instances of identity fraud and erroneous releases.

Budget and good governance

The budget of the department for the 2014/15 is R19,721 billion, projected to increase over the MTEF to R20,795 billion in 2015/16 and to reach R22,081 billion in 2016/17 at an average growth of 5.6 per cent.

Amounts totalling R72,6 million in 2014/15; R72,8 million in 2015/16 and R77,9 million in 2016/17 have been reprioritised within the 2014 MTEF baseline from non-core Goods and Services items for spending on the following policy priorities:

• Implementation of Victim-Offender Dialogues;
• Purchasing of Security Equipment;
• Replacement of dilapidated Workshop and Agricultural Machinery and Equipment; and
• Integrated Inmate Management System (IIMS)

Of great concern is the fact that up to 2012-13, the Department of Correctional Services has been receiving a qualified audit opinion on movable tangible capital assets.
Last year a number of interventions were implemented including the deployment of all senior managers in the department in various management areas to verify both the existence, completeness and the state of assets. It is anticipated that this intervention will bear positive results with regard to the audit outcomes of 2013/14.
I am committed to ensure, through continuous improvement on compliance with various prescripts and good governance principles, that the Department achieves an unqualified audit opinion. I am scheduled to meet with the Auditor General before the end of this month to see what else can be done.

Conclusion

The Department of Correctional Services in collaboration with Justice, Police and other players within the criminal justice system, is poised to take delivery of services to unprecedentedly higher levels. We have what it takes to realise the ambitious ideals outlines in the National Development Plan. The endeavours require everyone, from families, to communities, to the labour movements, to business, faith-based and non-governmental organisations to put all their hands on deck so that together we can move South Africa forward.
Let me express my deepest appreciation to the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Mr. Thabang Makwetla for his outstanding support. To the newly established and integrated Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee and particularly its chairperson Dr. Mathole Motshekga for their guidance and wisdom shared during the presentation of our political overview to the committee. Gratitude also goes to the Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Mr Zach Modise, his executive management and staff for their demonstrated passion and commitment to make the ideals we have discussed a reality during this term of government.

Last but not least, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to my family for their love and support.

I thank you.

Also view:

Crime as a Threat to Road Safety in South Africa

Axis Announces High-Performance Cameras for Video Surveillance in Public Transport and Vehicles

JOHANNESBURG – July 16, 2014 – Axis Communications, the global leader in network video, has announced the local availability of the Axis P39-R Network Camera Series offering protection against dust and water and able withstand tough conditions such as vibrations, shocks, bumps and temperature fluctuations.

The series also features active tampering alarm function that allows for the detection of tampering attempts such as blocking or spray-painting.

So says Jason McGregor, sales manager at Axis Communications, who adds that Axis is the pioneer in developing COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf), mobile-rated IP cameras. “The Axis P39-R Series is our third generation suite of ruggedised cameras designed for the on-board environment and, for customers who want to upgrade to this latest version, the P39-R Series shares the same physical interface as Axis M31-R cameras,” he explains.

The cameras are specially adapted to respond quickly to changes in light levels, ensuring that high image quality and image usability are maintained. Also, the use of progressive scan enables the cameras to show moving objects without distortion. Traffic Light mode helps to better distinguish colours of traffic lights in very dark scenes.

“In addition to the rail and bus markets, we are seeing more and more mobile applications for this type of highly reliable camera for rugged environments that include cargo and freight, emergency, mining and other types of utility vehicles,” says McGregor.

The P39-R Series includes the Axis P3904-R network camera with HDTV 720p resolution, the Axis P3905-R with HDTV 1080p resolution and the Axis P3915-R with HDTV 1080p resolution as well as audio-in and I/O capabilities. Each model is available with either a male RJ45 connector or a rugged M12 connector.

AXIS P39-R Series allows for a quick and reliable installation, as the desired field of view and levelled image can be easily achieved by using the supplied lens tool to direct and rotate the ball that holds the lens and image sensor. The tool can also be used to exchange and focus the lens when a lens with a different angle of view is required. The cameras provide a pixel counter for verifying that the pixel resolution of an object meets specific requirements.

Also view:

Dashboard camera recorders and road safety