SA prison staff are outnumbered

The Public Service Association says the country’s prisons are in desperate need of more staff.

A correctional services official arrives for work at the Johannesburg Central Prison on Monday, 22 October 2012. Three prisoners were killed and 14 injured when the truck they were being transported in exploded not far from the prison situated south of the city. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN -The Public Service Association (PSA) said on Friday South Africa's prisons are hopelessly understaffed.

The PSA believes the Correctional Services Department needs to employ a further 23, 000 people to deal with rehabilitation and to beef-up security.

The department currently employs more than 40, 000 people.

Several correctional service officials have been injured in prison riots in the Free State, Eastern and Western Cape this year.

The PSA's Pierre Snyman said prison staff are outnumbered.

"Gangsters are going to take this opportunity because of understaffing to make their way forward and we cannot allow this."