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