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THE Department of Correctional Services is renaming 11 prisons, and the public has been asked to suggest new names.

In Joburg, Johannesburg Prison, informally known as Sun City, and Leeuwkop Prison will be renamed. Johannesburg Prison is south of the central business district, while Leeuwkop is on a farm in Sandton, in the north. It was built 45 years ago. Leeuwkop has five different prisons – one for about 3 000 sentenced prisoners; a juvenile prison; two medium-security prisons and a maximum-security adult prison.

The other correctional centres being renamed are in Pretoria, in Gauteng; in Barberton and Modimolle, which span Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West; St Albans and East London in Eastern Cape; Pollsmoor in Western Cape; Kroonstad in Free State; and Durban Westville and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.

The renaming is being done to recognise the prisons’ place and role in shaping the country.
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the minister of correctional services, recently announced that the name changing will recognise “key event, geographic significance and personalities associated with these facilities”.

The new names are expected to be announced on 21 March, on Human Rights Day.

Mapisa-Nqakula has invited the public to submit proposals for new names, supported by written motivations of no more than 500 words each. These will be considered by a departmental task team, led by the chief deputy commissioner, Zach Modise. Public consultative meetings will also be held in the areas around the prisons.

Submissions must be received by 4 February. They can be sent to Zach Modise at CDC Corrections, Private Bag X136, Pretoria, 0001; or they can be emailed to submit@dcs.gov.za or faxed to 012 328 8326 or 086 569 1482.

Mapisa-Nqakula also appealed to the public to help accelerate the transformation of the department and to break the cycle of crime.

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