Cape Town - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has voiced its opposition to the government’s plans to legalise sex work in the country.
This comes as the government looks into decriminalising sex work to minimise human rights violations against sex workers.
The legislation will also afford better protection for sex workers, better working conditions and less discrimination and stigma.
Cabinet approved the publishing of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill of 2022 regarding the decriminalisation of sex work for public comments in November last year.
Public comments on the subject are expected to close on January 31, 2023.
The ACDP called on the public to oppose the legislation.
Councillor Jeanette Gouws said: “The statistics have proven that when women are objectified to such a degree, even if the objectification is done by themselves, all women suffer in a society that begins to view women as a means to an end or a good to be purchased and discarded after use.”
But Sisonke national sex workers movement spokesperson Yonela Sinqu said criminalising sex work would not put an end to the industry.
“We cannot as a country rid social ills if we continue pointing fingers at sex workers who are deterred from working in safer, controlled environments as a result of criminalisation. A step to curb such is to align the Constitution with the country’s national strategic plan, which among other things is to decriminalise sex work. Such social ills can only be truly addressed once the industry is decriminalised. Criminalising sex work is not going to put an end to the industry; instead it’s pushing it further into a deep, dark corner into the hands of heartless, hardened criminals,” Sinqu said.