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Prison rehab programmes take back seat in Gauteng

Grace Molatedi says of the R4 billion received by Correctional Services, close to R3 billion goes to paying staff.

 The maximum security yard inside Leeuwkop Correctional Facility. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng regional commissioner of Correctional Services Grace Molatedi says the department's huge salary bill is eating away at money earmarked for rehabilitation programmes for inmates.

Molatedi says of the R4 billion received by Correctional Services, close to R3 billion goes to paying staff.

Officials say ambitious programmes are in the pipeline involving agriculture and woodwork to up-skill inmates. But those plans have taken a backseat because there’s no money.

Officials revealed this during a tour at the Leeuwkop prison on Tuesday which houses over 36,000 inmates.

Molatedi says most of the department's R4 billion budget goes to paying salaries. “In terms of the salary bill... we are trying to make sure that we have sufficient officials.”

Molatedi says they have asked for more money, but there are no guarantees they'll get it.

WATCH: Lockdown: Inside Leeuwkop maximum security prison