KZN: MEC Mbali Frazer celebrates World Aids Day with inmates

KwaZulu Natal: KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Education, Mbali Frazer commemorated World AIDS Day with inmates who are currently enrolled in Usethubeni School in Durban Correctional Services Facility today, 1 December 2023.

Usethubeni School obtained a 100% pass rate, with bachelor passes in 2022.

Of the 20 inmates who passed matric in 2022, 10 of them are now to enrolled in institutions of higher learning as they continue to further their studies.

The Regional Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal, Mnikelwa Nxele, expressed his gratitude for the continuous support and the good relations between the Department of Correctional Services in the Province and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education.

The partnership between these Departments has made it possible for learners enrolled in schools and other educational programmes within correctional services facilities to succeed.

Learners at Usethubeni School had the opportunity to engage with MEC Frazer and raised their concerns about some of the challenges they are experiencing.

They made a request to MEC Frazer to intervene and assist because their school has been experiencing a shortage of resources.

MEC Frazer committed to assisting learners by donating stationery in January 2023.

She has also established a team comprising senior officials from both the Department of Correctional Services and KZNDOE that will attend to all issues that are negatively affecting the schools and other educational programmes within the Correctional Services Facilities.

Inmates were motivated to check their HIV status so that they could be assisted by the health care facility within the Correctional Services Centre should they need help.

“Today is World AIDS Day, and we are here to tell you that no one must die because of HIV/AIDS. If your HIV status is negative, continue with prevention measures, and if your HIV/AIDS status is positive, the health care facilities will give you all the necessary support you need,” said MEC Frazer.

She also encouraged inmates to protect each other against all forms of abuse.

Furthermore, she expressed gratitude to the educators and correctional services officials for the role they play in rehabilitating offenders.

“Educators face various challenges in schools outside of correctional services facilities, so I know it’s even more challenging to be an educator in a school with these facilities because we understand that the learners you teach here are for a reason, and you have to accommodate to that,” added MEC Frazer.

She later donated toys to the children of the inmates who are currently living with their mothers inside the Durban Correctional Services Centre.