Crime in South Africa has been on the increase in recent years. Aside from the local crimes committed by petty thieves, there are also more significant crimes like robberies, murders, xenophobic killings, and the recent looting of stores and properties. As of August 2021, it was announced that 5,760 people were murdered between April to June that year, and 15,000 assault cases were filed, this to mention but a few criminal cases.
To curb crime and create a safer environment for citizens, foreigners, and investors, corruption has to be reduced to the minimum. Aside from that, these criminals have to be handled so that they can be integrated into society to lead a better life after serving a sentence for their crime. This is where the Department of Correctional Services South Africa comes in.
Though all staff of the DCS may be responsible for offenders one way or another, they all do not have the same ranks, nor do they receive the same salary. The rank and remuneration of staff are dependent on their qualification and years of experience. On average, correctional officers receive R197,403. But it may be higher or lower depending on qualification and rank. If you wish to pursue a career as a correction officer, keep reading to learn about their salary and current organogram and how to apply for a job in the department.
The Department Of Correctional Services South Africa Was Formed In 1990
The Department of Correctional Services South Africa was founded in 1990 and is in charge of running and organizing the activities of the South African Prison Service. This department is governed by a mandate to keep offenders in a secure place, conducive enough for humans to survive and rehabilitate them. This mandate is governed by the Correctional Services Act, 1998 (Act 111 of 1998), 014 White Paper on Remand Detention Management in South Africa, and the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977).
Currently, this department employs 34,000 staff responsible for the smooth running of activities of 240 South African prisons, which contains about 189,748 inmates. The current Minister of Justice and Correctional Services is Ronald Lamolaand, and he is assisted by the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Patekile Holomisa.
From 1980 to 1996, The Department Of Correctional Services Used To Have Military Ranks And Culture
In 1990, the prison service was renamed the Department of Correctional Service (DCS), but they continued with the decorations and honor given to staff. Here are the different decorations:
- Star for Excellence – Green Badge
- Cross for Valour (Diamond) – Red Badge
- Cross for Valour (Ruby) – Red Badge with White Stripe (in the middle)
- Star for Distinction – Green Badge with White Stripe
- Star for Merit – Green Badge with two White Stripes
- Cross for Merit – Green Badge with three White Stripes
- Medal for Merit (Officers) – Green Badge with two Bars and two White Stripes
- Medal for Merit (NCOS) – Green Badge with two Bars and three White Stripes
- Medal for Faithful Service (Gold) – Yellow Badge with six Green Stripes
- Medal for Faithful Service (Silver) – Yellow Badge with four Green Stripes
- Medal for Faithful Service (Bronze) – Yellow Badge with two Green Stripes
It is important to note that this method of honor and ranking was abolished in 1990.
Current Department Of Correctional Service Organogram And Ranking
Here is a list of the organogram of the department according to their rank:
- Minister for Justice and Correctional Service
- Inspecting Judge of Correctional Service | Deputy Minister of Correctional Service
- National Commissioner
- Chief Operating Officer | Deputy Commissioner Strategic Management | Chief Financial Officer | Chief Deputy Commissioner Human Resource | Information Technology Officer | Chief Deputy Commissioner Community Corrections | Chief Deputy Commissioner Incarceration and Correction | Chief Deputy Commissioner Demand and Retention
- Regional Commissioner Eastern Cape | Regional Commissioner Gauteng | Regional Commissioner Free state and Northern Cape | Regional Commissioner KwaZulu-Natal | Regional Commissioner Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga | Western Cape
How Much Do Correctional Officers Receive In South Africa?
On average, correctional officers in south Africa receive an average salary of R197,403 according to payscale. Aside from their basic salary, they could get a bonus that ranges from R11,000 to R33,000. However, the salary of a correctional officer will vary depending on their skill and the number of years they have been in the service. Individuals who have worked as correctional officers for more than 20 years are more likely to receive the highest salary.
Here is a breakdown of the possible salary increase based on the number of years in service:
- Early Career (1-4 years): R151,000
- Mid Career (5-9 years): 159,000
- Late Career (10-19 years): R205,00
- Experienced (20years+): R318,000
As a correctional officer, developing yourself to earn more skills puts you in a better position to earn more. Here are some skills you should consider going for:
- Security Policies and Procedures: R207,427
- Security Risk Management: R206,199
- Oral/Verbal Communication: R222,400
If you want to make the best out of your job in this department in terms of monetary benefits, you should obtain more skills and years of experience. The more qualification and experience you have, the better your chances of being promoted to a better position and increasing your salary outlook.
Duties And Responsibilities Of A Correctional Officer
The work ethics of all correctional officers mandates them to ensure that all prisoners are treated with respect, courtesy, professionally, and humanely. The duties of a correctional officer include:
- Regime Management: This involves managing and taking care of prisoners under a regime that is incentive-based.
- Case Management: Case Management involves planning for the progress of each prisoner through the correctional system.
- Team Work: Staff should communicate, support, cooperate with each other; they should also be of responsible behavior when working together.
How To Apply To The Department Of Correctional Services South Africa
If you wish to work in the Department of Correctional Services South Africa, then you can simply apply to be a staff. The application process is straightforward and only requires that you follow a procedure that includes:
- Obtain the application form from www.gov.za or Public Service Department.
- A CV should be attached to your application.
- Your application should contain details of two contactable referees. (These referees should be two people the applicant has recently worked with).
- Two copies of an identity document (with all relevant stamps).
- Two copies of your qualification (with stamp).
- For a role where a driver’s license is a requirement, you should submit certified copies of your license.
- Applications submitted as fax or emails will not be considered.
- If no contact is made after three months, the applicant should admit that the application was unsuccessful.
- Successful candidates must pass a competency assessment.
It is also important to note that applicants with foreign qualifications must submit results that the South African Qualifications Authority has evaluated.