Prisons minister Pieter Groenewald has big plans for inmates’ food

Newly sworn-in Correctional Services Minister Pieter Groenewald says he wants inmates to grow their own food.

Groenewald said this ahead of the swearing-in ceremony at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Wednesday.


In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Groenewald detailed his plans and priorities as he takes charges of the Correctional Services portfolio, which has been split from the justice portfolio.

He said tackling corruption was high on his list of priorities, and this statement comes after the Department of Correctional Services came under fire when convicted murderer and Facebook rapist Thabo Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein.

Regarding budget management, Groenewald said he believed correctional facilities should start producing their own food again.

“They have the agricultural land and there are proposals from institutions who want to assist with that. I will seriously look into that matter and see how we can save taxpayers’ money.

“There’s nothing wrong in ensuring that correctional facilities produce their own vegetables and food,” he added.


The 68-year-old politician was born in a typical Afrikaner family as his father was a farmer and his mom a housewife.

He completed his military service at the Berede Centre in Potchefstroom and achieved a B.juris degree at the Potchefstroom campus of the now North West University. He also completed a postgraduate diploma in Communications, a Master’s degree in Management and Development, and a Doctorate in Politics. 

In an interview with The Citizen, Groenewald said his 1989 election as an MP for Stilfontein constituency, standing for the Conservative Party (CP), kicked off his long parliamentary politics journey.

“I was a member of the Conservative Party. I was never a member of the National Party; as the CP and now as the FF+, we believe in self-determination, which means that true power to the people lies in the principle of communities. We say that communities must govern themselves,” he said.

Over the years, Pieter Groenewald has repeatedly called for the death penalty to be reinstated due to high rates of crime in the country.

“After several speeches and political pressure, the police appointed a Commission of Inquiry into farm attacks and murders in 2001. The FF Plus was the only party that made a submission to the Commission. The submission stated that farm murders are politically motivated and that the death penalty must be reinstated,” he wrote on his party’s website in 2017 following a surge in farm murders.

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