Residential Care, Mangaung Correctional Centre, South Africa
The extensive Correctional Centre at Bloemfontein, the capital city of South Africa’s Free State Province, provides almost 3,000 maximum security offenders with a school, chapel, hospital and academic facilities as well as regular meals and secure accommodation.
Looking after their welfare and making sure that the total operational management of Mangaung’s huge residential care operation runs smoothly is a major responsibility that Kay Sewkumar is more than capable of shouldering. A former nurse, she has risen up the career ladder during 23 years in the prison service to become Mangaung’s deputy director, Residence, responsible for a whole range of activities, including finance and administration and the overall welfare of offenders.
“We have a capacity for 2,928 offenders in the prison and we are usually 100 per cent occupied,” Kay explains. “The centre is divided into residential units with a hospital and special treatment unit. I am responsible for the performance management of around 300 staff, inclusive of managers and front-line personnel. ”
With the opening of Mangaung Correctional Centre in 2001, Kay transferred from the Department of Correctional Services to the private sector having successfully applied to be one of the new prison’s unit managers – a post she held for seven years until her promotion in 2007 to her current role.
Compared to her work as a nurse, Kay now enjoys far greater job satisfaction as deputy director – residence, where she has all the leadership roles that one finds in a big business and has learned to put the operational and financial challenges into perspective and make a difference to those in her care.