Initiatives merge to fight prostitution

2014-04-17 00:00

SOME of Durban’s community initiatives are set to pool their resources and their collective clout to try to rid their streets of sex workers.

The Bulwer, Glenwood and Umbilo Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and the Umbilo Business Forum have decided to merge to find ways to rehabilitate prostitutes to get them off the streets.

Ben Madokwe, Berea/Glenwood CPF chairperson, said the merger would enable them to approach the authorities as a collective as they push for the enforcement of municipal by-laws in an effort not only to deal with prostitutes on the streets, but also take on bed and breakfasts that are suspected to be accommodating prostitutes and their clients.

“We are separate entities but we have decided to run programmes together, speak with one voice and engage with all the relevant stakeholders for better results for all,” said Madokwe.

Brian O’Leary of eThekwini’s corporate policy unit in the office of the city manager, said the three suburbs have a combined number of 15 091 houses. He said the 2011 census indicates that Bulwer stands at 8 072, Glenwood at 1 842 while Umbilo has 5 177 houses.

The forums, following the recent merger, will convene their first community meeting on May 13 to pave a way forward.

Heather Rorick, chairperson of the Bulwer Community Safety Forum, said the last stakeholder meeting had revealed to them individuals who were not bothered by the state of the community. “This merger will ensure that we find each other and share ideas to attain our common goal, which is to bring dignity to our streets and community. Prostitution has been there for years but now the main aim is to rehabilitate the women and take them off the streets. We can’t do this alone, hence this new approach,” said Rorick.

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