Prison a boon for Tzaneen

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Hundreds of job opportunities will be created for the local people in Tzaneen when the construction of the first phase of a multimillion-rand Tzaneen Correctional Centre starts in January next year.

The correctional centre will be a five-star facility and will cost about R120million.

Once completed, the facility would accommodate about 252 inmates.

Department of correctional services commissioner in Polokwane, Paul Sello, said the prison will be one of the best models in the country.

It would have a unit management system and an electronic monitoring security system.

It would also house workshops to empower inmates with skills in welding, woodwork, metal work, upholstery, panel beating and spray painting.

Sello said the new prison would be built on the site next to the old Tzaneen prison.

Permanent job opportunities and many other temporary jobs would be created once the prison was completed, he said.

"The new prison will bring relief to many police stations in the Mopani district as inmates would no longer have to be transported over long distances to prisons outside Mopani," said Sello.

He further said that about 96 youths were recruited through an Expanded Public Works Programme to help during the construction period. This, he added, would help them acquire practical skills.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by August 2010.

Greater Tzaneen municipal mayor Othaniel Mushwana welcomed the project as a major boost to the economy of Tzaneen.