Residents want sex workers gone

2017-07-03 13:58
Owners fed up with half-naked prostitutes on Boom St.

Owners fed up with half-naked prostitutes on Boom St. (File)

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Brothels operating as bed and breakfasts are causing an uproar among Boom Street residents and business owners.

Residents living and operating businesses there said the situation with “the world’s oldest profession” has become “unbearable”.

Calling themselves the “Concerned Boom Street business owners and residents”, the group say the area has become home to many illegal activities.

The area has numerous legitimate businesses, a primary school, a high school and churches that were built there many years ago.

Now, the area is known as a red-light district and drug den, say the group.

Used condoms and alcohol bottles can be found every day on the pavements near Chapel and West streets.

The residents say hooting, screaming, sex and urinating in public have become daily occurrences in the area and pupils are exposed to such behaviour.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said prostitutes can be found having sexual intercourse on the road almost every night. She said the overgrown trees are also a “hot spot” for the prostitutes to host their clients.

“They even stand naked or half-dressed, which is their daily dress code for that business,” she said.

Residents and business owners in the area said prostitution has escalated at an alarming rate, even during the day.

“This all happens in broad daylight and in full view of these children,” said the group of concerned residents and business owners in an e-mail to Witness Warriors.

Business owners said their customers are harassed by those visiting the women of the night (and day).

“The evenings, Friday nights and month-end weekends are always the worst,” they said.

The group said they were “fed up” of contacting the municipality and the police who “take it all so lightly”.

“We have been to the police many times and are always told they will do a patrol and make arrests, but we never see that happening,” said the resident.

He said he called the municipal call centre, who gave him a reference number for his complaint, “but that was the end of that”.

“I eventually went to the municipality myself and demanded to see someone who can assist. I pushed around from office to office telling them about our problems in the area and an hour or so later, I was just told that they are looking at closing down those brothels,” he said.

The Witness reported last year that Msunduzi municipal security was to join forces with a brothels task team to tackle the growing number of prostitution rings in Pietermaritzburg.

The municipality committed to assist the police in combatting the problem.

The City highlighted the need for intervention by social services.

“Law enforcement responses are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem associated with prostitution.

“The most effective responses … rely heavily on social services to encourage prostitutes to exit permanently from the streets,” a report to the city council noted.

Msunduzi’s environmental department called for other education and health awareness institutions to intervene.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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