Del­e­gates clash over le­gal­ity of sex trade

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

THE CHAIR of the so­cial trans­for­ma­tion com­mit­tee at the ANC’s 5th na­tional pol­icy con­fer­ence (NPC), Lindiwe Sisulu, yes­ter­day said del­e­gates dis­agreed strongly over a pro­posal by the Gauteng mem­bers to de­crim­i­nalise the ac­tiv­i­ties of sex work­ers.

The Gauteng mem­bers said the state was too harsh on those try­ing to make a liv­ing and that the male per­pe­tra­tors – the clients of the sex work­ers – were the ones who should be pros­e­cuted.

“The prov­ince of Gauteng has pro­posed to us that we de­crim­i­nalise sex work­ers, and they put it across as a pro­posal and a rec­om­men­da­tion un­til we found that the ple­nary was not too happy with that pro­posal,” Sisulu told a me­dia brief­ing at the NPC.

“In the dis­cus­sion, we in­di­cated that be­fore we have some­thing placed be­fore con­fer­ence, it should have gone through the nec­es­sary dis­cus­sions… but this one was sprung on us at the con­fer­ence with­out go­ing through the nec­es­sary con­sul­ta­tion.

“So we did ex­pect that we would have a fall­out with the ple­nary. So when you come across these doc­u­ments and there is this mat­ter of sex work­ers be­ing de­crim­i­nalised, it is a propo­si­tion of Gauteng.”

Mov­ing on, Sisulu, also min­is­ter of hu­man set­tle­ments, said her com­mit­tee ex­pressed deep worry over what it termed the break­down of the so­cial fab­ric in South Africa.

“We are con­cerned about the break­down of our so­cial fab­ric as a so­ci­ety. This is one area which re­mains stub­bornly back­ward in the way we de­fine it and we are very con­cerned about that,” said Sisulu.

She said del­e­gates at the NPC rec­om­mended speed in the cre­ation of a na­tional iden­tity (so that we all re­late to the coun­try and to each other as one) and deal­ing with the is­sues of the break­down in the so­cial fab­ric and its man­i­fes­ta­tion in the high crime lev­els.

“We would like all branches of the ANC to be ef­fec­tive agents of change as lead­ers in our com­mu­nity,” said Sisulu.

“To this end, we would like to urge all ANC mem­bers to be ex­em­plary in their con­duct and make sure that at all times they re­flect the ANC ide­ol­ogy and the fact that we ANC mem­bers are lead­ers of so­ci­ety.”

The del­e­gates also rec­om­mended that South Africa should make cat­e­goris­ing hate crimes a pri­or­ity.

PIC­TURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH

CON­CERNED: Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu de­liv­ers and ad­dress to mem­bers of the me­dia at the ANC’s 5th pol­icy con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

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