Correctional Services calls on local businesses to bid for catering contracts

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JOHANNESBURG, March 19 – The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) on Tuesday said in-sourcing of food services for inmates at correctional centres has opened doors for local businesses to supply perishable and non-perishable food items.

This opportunity comes against the backdrop of 26 correctional centre kitchens, in seven management areas, rendering nutrition through internal means.

Spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the 26 kitchens accommodate an inmate population of 46 434, and are located at Johannesburg, Kgosi Mampuru II, Krugersdorp, Modderbee, Durban and Pollsmoor prisons.

The department needs to enter new catering contracts as controversial facilities management company Bosasa’s contract will imminently end.

Bosasa, now named African Global Operations, provided food to thousands of offenders around the country, but has been placed under voluntary liquidation.

This after testimony at the Zondo Commission of inquiry into state capture revealed corruption at high levels.

“It is the department’s quest for procurement opportunities to be made more accessible to small businesses within the localities of the identified centres in a transparent manner. Hence, DCS will kick-start this process with information sessions where potential suppliers will be briefed on the required supplies and the government supply chain processes involved,” said Nxumalo.

“A concerted effort is being made to boost small businesses who generally battle to attract customers and maintain profitability, which often hinges on access to markets.”

DCS said that by stimulating the inclusion of local enterprises, where correctional centres were located, this would result in ripple effects which would also see job creation through the development of small, medium and micro-enterprises as well as the advancement of designated groups such as youth and women.

“This is a process which will assist enterprises, cooperatives, wholesalers, fresh farm producers, bakeries, abattoirs and butcheries to take advantage of opportunities in correctional services and make a meaningful contribution to the local economy,” said Nxumalo.

“Our call for expressions of Interest clearly articulates the type of products required, which involves perishable provisions and groceries, pest control services and disposal of waste.”

The objective is to gather supplier information in the geographical location where the seven Management Areas are located, in order to advance designated groups and ensure that goods and services are procured using a system that was fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.

“It remains critical for South Africa to support more small firms, cooperatives and youth enterprises if the country is to forge a more equitable economy and create more jobs, particularly as over 60 percent of the workforce is employed by small businesses,” said Nxumalo.

Nxumalo said this was in line with the National Development Plan, which calls for several interventions that can result in faster and more inclusive economic growth destined to reduce high levels of unemployment, reduced inequality and the deracialisation of the economy.

Correctional Services would be releasing a schedule for information sessions for each management area, and was looking forward to a diversified group of potential suppliers entering the Corrections sector.

“Interested parties have until 29 March 2019 to submit applications,” said Nxumalo.