Adult website’s bold signs have some in Durban suburbs seeing red

2014-07-25 00:00

CORNERING the online adult trade, a new player in town has raised the ire of residents in one of Durban’s premier suburbs.

Umhlanga ward councillor Heinz de Boer expressed fears that the website will lead to an increase in “high-end prostitution which is already a major problem in the area”.

“Any website that advertises prostitution will lead to an increase in the sex-trade in the targeted area,” he said.

And people appear to have noticed the new campaign, with the referral site boasting 20 000 hits a day, according to the website owner who prefers to be called only Rand.

While the advertisements are new to Durban, they are not uncommon in areas like Sandton in Johannesburg.

Rand said they work as a marketing company and don’t deal with escort services themselves.

He said his business made the move from newspapers to street poles to bring the industry’s marketing up to standard.

He said that visits to the site had grown since its launch four years ago and significantly in Durban since the adverts were put up in May.

He said a lot of people won’t admit to visiting the site, while in reality they do.

Redvelvet.co.za has a disclaimer which states that it “does not offer services for prostitution or prostitutes” but merely provides “advertising and referral services for adults”.

He insisted that his site was above board.

“It is up to parents to police children on what they view. I can understand the concern if we were the only website of this nature, but we aren’t.”

Reverend Ian Booth of the Diakonia Council of Churches echoed Rand’s sentiments.

“We live in a free and open society and you cannot isolate yourselves from reality. It is all about how parents themselves react and communicate with their children about morality and sexuality,” he said.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said while prostitution is a crime that plagues all communities in the province, the light fines imposed do not deter offenders.

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