An average of 48 prisoners escape from SA prisons each year.
In a written reply to a question in the National Assembly, justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola said 285 prisoners escaped from custody over the past six financial years — from 2017/2018 to 2022/2023.
“There was an average of 151,495 inmates in custody at any given time during [this] period. The escape rate can be averaged at 48 inmates per year. This translates to an average of 0.032% of inmates escaping from custody per annum.”
Twenty unsentenced inmates remained at large as at April 30 this year out of 146 who escaped. The others were rearrested. Nationally, about 139 sentenced prisoners escaped, with 100 of them rearrested and 39 still at large.