By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
The city of Durban is a beautiful place to live and also to visit. It has inevitably beautiful warm beaches, lovely weather and friendly people. In all this beauty, she still has her flaws, scarred by those who she carries.
Durban is violated daily by the people of her land. She suffers many violations such as pollution, over population, prostitution, negligence and the most damaging one; crime.
“I was officially the victim of crime, during the December holidays, a beautiful sunny day at the beach turned cold, they broke into our car and stole wallets, handbags and other valuables. I can’t believe this country,” states Sharde Coetzee. Coetzee’s words echo many South Africans experiences with crime or theft.
Mam Thoko Latha, a street vender has not directly been a victim of a crime, but her daughter was pick pocketed while walking the busy streets of Durban, “ when she came home and told me about it my heart was sore, as she described how they did it I was filled with resentment.”
What should be done, how can crimes be eliminated? “Stop drugs,” said Skoroskoro Madlokovu who feels the root cause of all these crimes is drugs, “these boys rob you just to sell your things so they can buy woonga.”
Durban is a victim to crime, polluted by drug users and criminals who would even kill for your possessions. Ignorance is killing our environment, according to member of Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), Clayton Tomson, “People wait for other people to clean up after them.”
It seems not many people are environmentally conscious, some choose to ignore signs such as the “no dumping” and the “no smoking” signs that are evident in our society.
Dumping dirt anywhere raises many health hazards for the people and animals as well the environment itself. Dumpers sometimes expose toxic liquids or chemicals which could be inhaled by people living in the area, children playing may pick up dangerous objects like wire, corrugated iron or broken glass and mirrors, for instant needles are very dangerous to children as they can contain bacteria or viruses that could infect the children.
Bongiwe Mvelase a street sweeper says she enjoys her job because it helps keep the community clean and feels if everyone picked up after themselves we will have a cleaner society.
Another violation closely linked with crime and drugs is prostitution.
Prostitutes are patrolling the streets of Durban more effectively than the police. Now the residents of Glenwood have prostitutes right outside their homes. “Prostitution is a business as old as time, as long as we have poverty, we will have prostitution, so come next election vote economic growth.”
Local business owner on the corner of Esther Roberts and Helen Josephs road feels differently from Chapman, “It is a matter of supply and demand,” if there was demand for it in this neighbourhood then there wouldn’t be a supply.
What are the true causes of prostitution, and what can be done to stop it? The course of prostitution can debatable, according to Dudu Khwela, a community facilitator for a medical research company,” many girls that prostitute themselves do it because they feel like they have failed in life. Many have dropped out of school, which makes it very difficult to find work. Prostitution is more of a socio-economic problem than a psychological issue. It becomes a never ending cycle.”
According to the Life line website, one of the objectives of a programme from Life Line, called Ithuba Lethu is to help sex workers to decrease the level of HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence, Substance abuse and Sexual risk behaviours and building a well rounded community. They aim to reduce secondary trauma to commercial sex workers through provision of trauma containment and counselling services. The outreach teaches them about prevention methods and drug related issues, condom demonstrations, and they also offer psychological support.
No one seems to agree with this practice, but there is hope. It has become an incurable disease, but there is always a bright side to incurable diseases; they can be prevented and treated.
It seems Durban has been infected by parasites that work hand in hand, to fix prostitution there needs to be a breakthrough in poverty, and that will indirectly help eliminate the crime levels. It has become an incurable disease, but there is always a bright side to incurable diseases; they can be prevented and treated.
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