New Zealand: Public-private partnership prison to experience same problems when taken over by government

PARLIAMENTARIANS heard that the two public-private partnerships (PPP) prisons would be subjected to the same condition experienced at other prisons when the Department of Correctional Services takes them over in a few years.

“Once there is a take-over, they will be subjected to the pool of challenges we face at the Department of Correctional Services,” acting national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale said. Thobakgale made the statement when briefing the portfolio committee on their readiness to take over the Mangaung and Makhado prisons.

The department entered into a public-private partnership to acquire additional accommodation for at least 25 years in the early 2000s.

“The PPP prisons were to be run as a model prison, perfect in every way as a partnership between the public and the private sector,” read a presentation to the committee. The Mangaung prison was designed for 2 928 bed spaces and started operating from July 2001. The Kutama-Sinthumule Correctional Centre in Makhado is a prison for 3 024 bed spaces and started its operations in February 2002. The contracts for the prisons in Mangaung and Makhado will expire in June 2026 and February 2027 respectively.