Soweto’s sex-for-sale trade
Some of the neighbours of sex workers who are operating from the comfort of their homes have pleaded ignorance about the trade.
Soweto resident Hendrick Makola was taken aback when asked about his neighbour’s activities in a house nearby.
“I’m hearing about it for the first time from you,” said Makola, 25, who has been living in Glenridge, Soweto, for 10 years.
Makola condemned the operation, saying it could rub off negatively on youngsters who might see it as an easy way out should they struggle to find jobs.
“The authorities should put an end to this [prostitution] with immediate effect.”
Makola’s female neighbour, who preferred to remain anonymous, was equally shocked.
“The surprising thing is that we hold meetings on a regular basis where we discuss negative things like crime and so on happening in our vicinity, and no one has ever raised the issue of prostitution.”
Another neighbour, who asked not be named, revealed that the information only came to light after his friend recently brought it to his attention.
“I don’t think prostitutes should be criticised because people don’t operate on the same moral level and it is not negatively affecting members of the community,” he said.
Napo Lephalale, who has been living in White City for more than 30 years, said he first heard about the sex trade rumours in February.
“I don’t think it’s good for school children to be exposed to prostitution because as soon as these young girls become broke they will consider venturing into the trade,” Lephalale argued.
He said, however, prostitutes could work for men who “don’t want to cheat” and prefer “buying” sex on the side as there were no strings attached.
Lephalale’s neighbour Pamela Ndlovu said she has never heard of or seen signs of the sex workers operating in the area.
“If we could find out where these sex workers are operating, we as community members could protest and get them out of our township,” she said angrily.
Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce spokeswoman Lesego Tlhwale said: “In no way is sex work an easy way out, but sometimes the only way to make a living in a country with the largest unemployment rate in the world.” – Mpho Sibanyoni
Hendrink Makola expresses his shock that sex workers are trading in his neighbourhood.
Napo Lephalale says sex workers are a bad example.