Johannesburg – Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is expected to outline the progress on the decriminalisation of sex workers in South Africa following the approval for the bill to be published for public comments by Cabinet.
A new bill is expected to nullify the Sexual Offences Act (previously Immorality Act), 1957 (Act 23 of 1957).
The bill will also cancel Section 11 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act 32 of 2007) to decriminalise the sale and purchase of adult sexual services.
“The proposals of this bill respond to the list of interventions proposed in Pillar 3 (Protection, Safety and Justice) of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
“(This) enjoins the criminal justice system to provide protection, safety and justice for survivors of GBV, and to effectively hold perpetrators accountable for their actions,” said the department.
The bill also comes in the wake of 20-year-old Sifiso Mkhwanazi being arrested for allegedly raping and killing at least one of the six women after six decomposed bodies of sex workers were found in his father's workshop.
Currently, sex work in South Africa is criminalised.
It is criminalised by the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 (Act No. 23 of 1957) and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32, 2007 (Act No 32 of 2007).
Lamola will be briefing the members of media at 8.30am Friday at the Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard, Hatfield, Pretoria.