Prostitution in Marburg, a ‘catch 22’ situation

2018-03-29 06:01

THE ward councillor for Ward 17 in Marburg, Ajith Rajaram, has spoken out about prostitution in the area, explaining that the issue lies in the fact that there is a demand for the trade.

Rajaram’s comments follow recent complaints from residents of the re-emergence of prostitution in the area and they are calling for more long-term solutions.

Rajaram said the issue is a catch 22 situation because although law enforcers arrest suspects, they return to the streets upon release.

“Its is very complex because the prostitutes are actually supported by the prominent businesspeople and respectable members of our community, and hence they return to trading even after being arrested,” said Rajaram.

He said the community previously came together in conjunction with local security companies and formed an informal neighbourhood watch forum that assisted in arresting suspects, and this will be resumed if needed.

Prostitution on the residential streets of Marburg has been a source of much contention for at least two years and while a combination of efforts by SAPS, protection services and community based activism have assisted in curbing activities in the area slightly, it seems prostitution has since resumed.

In a Fever article of August 27, 2015, residents in the area said they were concerned by the rife prostitution in the area.

Last year, during a community meeting reported on in the Fever of April 6, 2017, residents pledged to take action against the issue.

On Monday, the Fever visited the area and found sex workers in the street. The girls were aged at about 16 to 18 years old and lurk in the streets in provocative clothes to entice customers. According to local residents, peak time for the prostitutes is in the afternoons as workers and business owners knock off, however, the trade commences throughout the day. In the same area, a high school as well as a pre-school are exposed.

The Ray Nkonyeni Municipality’s newly promulgated municipal by-laws have provided a clause for addressing the issue of prostitution within the municipality.

While addressing a media briefing at the introduction of the by-laws at the RNM council chambers earlier this year, municipal manager Max Mbili said prostitution hot spots would be targeted.

He said that in attempts to curb the social ill, efforts would be made to catch, name and shame both the traders and the buyers. “The issue of prostitution is something that the municipality wants to deal with. We also want to create a discourse with all the people involved in order to find out how they think this issue can be resolved in the long term,” said Mbili.

If people would like to get involved in the neighbourhood watch forum to stop prostitution, they can contact Ajith Rajaram at 082 446 7465.


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