In a move that is hoped to make far-reaching impact, Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe yesterday 12 April 2021, handed over arts equipment to the Krugersdorp Correctional Centre to assist in its offender rehabilitation programme.
Correctional centres have been well known for their strong arts and culture programmes including drama, music, dance, poetry and more performed by inmates.
The equipment for visual arts, including paint and paint brushes, sewing machine, percussions, sound system and more to the value of R100 000, was received by the Gauteng Correctional Services Regional Commissioner Thakane Molatedi.
It (equipment) will benefit the facility as part of its rehabilitation programme and help promote the arts and creativity as among the preferred options for offenders. With over 2400 inmates, the male-only offender Centre is the second most populated after the Johannesburg facility in Gauteng.
Handing over the equipment MEC Hlophe outlined how it is important for the department to reach every corner of society, even those incarcerated.
“Our mission is to reach and touch everyone-everywhere in the province through our programmes, hence we are now coming into Correctional facilities. We have termed our approach ‘From the Womb to the Cradle’, to ensure we reach all, including unborn babies when their mothers are still pregnant, the forgotten, marginalised and recognising heroines and heroes who have passed”.
The Krugersdorp Correctional facility is the first to benefit from the donation which will be rolled out to other Correctional facilities in the province including library services, and programmes on creativity, sport and healthy living.
Added MEC Hlophe: “We give this equipment so that we can assist in bringing back the offenders into society by assisting in their rehabilitation and letting them realise that society cares for their reform as fellow human beings. If we don’t help them help themselves out, then they will forever remain trapped in the circle of crime which doesn’t benefit anyone.
Receiving the donation, Regional Commissioner, Thakane Molatedi welcomed the noble move by the department which she says will go a long way in strengthening their offender programmes.
She said, “Rehabilitation is one of the difficult responsibilities we have in our hands hence we have made it a priority. It requires that we try harder in reforming the offenders but also demands that the offender be ready to change. As such, we need to do more and give them reasons to want to change, and this donation will go a long way.
Mogale City Municipality at which the facility is located, has also promised to work closer with the facility as it seeks to use the arts to promote local tourism and job creation.