Helderstroom inmates

Image via: Adobe Stock

Helderstroom Correctional Centre under lockdown as 87 inmates test positive

The DCS placed the Helderstroom Correctional Centre in Caledon, Western Cape under lockdown after inmate infections began to spiral.

Helderstroom inmates

Image via: Adobe Stock

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) placed the Helderstroom Maximum Centre in Caledon, Western Cape, under lockdown, as it moves to contain any further spread of COVID-19 infections. This move comes after 87 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. A further five officials also tested positive. 

On Thursday 7 January Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said there had been 21 000 new infections in the last 24 hours. He also reported that there were more than 40 000 active cases in the Western Cape. Read the full update here. 

Based on a surge in infections, the National coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met earlier this week. President Cyril Ramaphosa is, therefore, expected to address the nation on a way forward in the coming days.


Spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services Singabakho Nxumalo said it is critical at this stage to look at containment and treatment measures in order to prevent other officials and inmates from being exposed to the virus. 

“Whilst the process of tracking and tracing the index case(s) is underway, the Department has isolated the confirmed positive cases and quarantined the presumptive cases,” said Nxumalo.  

“Although only the Maximum Centre, Helderstroom, is affected at this stage, DCS is leaving nothing to chance and the Medium Centre is being monitored closely. Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures are being ramped up at all management areas across the country with specific directives to push for the continued sanitization of reception areas, cells, offices, vehicles and ablution facilities,” added Nxumalo. 


The DCS said it recognises the importance of keeping and maintaining correctional facilities COVID-19 free and will continue to invest a larger part of its disaster management planning on intensifying preventative measures. 

“This also talks to daily reporting on all preventative and containment activities as well as incidences within the correctional value chain, especially at coalface and in Departmental offices, to the DCS National Operations Centre (NOC),” said Nxumalo. 

It’s COVID-19 strategy will continue to be applied, paying attention to prevention measures, containment and treatment so that they may save lives and better protect every individual within its premises. 

“The Department has sufficient supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and the stock levels are being monitored daily,” said Nxumalo.  

“Behavioural change and adaptation by officials, inmates and those residing within our premises will go a long way in the prevention of new infections,” added Nxumalo.