Bloemfontein's sex workers live in fear of violence

2015-10-30 06:28
(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – Sex worker Nonceba Mbayeka's clients have throttled, beaten, and abused her.

From 09:00 to 17:00 each day she stands on the side of the road, selling sex for R50 in the township of Dinaweng in Bloemfontein.

The 23-year-old said poverty and unemployment made her resort to selling her body. About 20 other girls who occupy a stretch of the M30 road are from different parts of the country, and Lesotho.

Read more: Health24: How we can protect prostitutes

She started at the age of 17 and never stopped because the money was too good.

"My parents don’t see eye to eye, and they never really did anything for me. I stayed with my friends. I needed to feed myself and also buy myself clothes so that I can be like other people," she says.

She had a part time job doing gardening that paid her R180 a month, which was far too little.

Mbayeka said being victimised by clients is a sex worker's main concern.


"We don’t work at night because no one can protect us. The work that we do is very dangerous and every girl here is aware of that."

The women take their clients to the side of the road, a few metres from the residential area, where there is no privacy.

Stompi Kgarametsa, 31, became a sex worker in 1998.

"My parents couldn’t afford me so I decided that I needed to take care of myself and my son. Our community has a lot of unemployed people."

Although she has had the desire to stop, she earned enough money to support both herself and her son.

Both women said the government and places of worships have failed to deliver on their promises to provide them with jobs.

"What we want is to get decent jobs that will take us out of poverty," Kgarametsa said.

Read more on:    bloemfontein

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