Too many prostitutes

2016-12-02 10:10
Residents complain of naked sex workers roaming city streets.

Residents complain of naked sex workers roaming city streets. (File)

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“We are sick and tired of seeing people having sex on the road and standing naked outside our doors!”

Although known as the world’s oldest profession, residents living in close proximity of Pietermaritzburg’s red-light district said the situation has become “unbearable”.

Residents on, or near Burger Street and in the Manor suburb said that because “every second person” now seems to be a prostitute, motorists often stop to try to pick up residents who happen to be walking by.

“The old-age home and the surrounding area have become so dangerous that we cannot even walk on the roads without cars and taxis stopping to ask if we are selling. Most times we fear for our lives,” said one of the residents.

The 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 in the area said they believe that prostitution, during the day and at night, has escalated at an alarming rate.

A retired resident living on Mason Road said the noise of cars and taxis picking up the women creates such a disturbance that they cannot sleep at night. “We are at boiling point and do not know what to do. We are sick and tired of complaining to the police who are not taking us seriously.”

The resident said the prostitution ring has not only added to the bad reputation of the area, but litter and crime have also increased.

Another resident, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said she always finds used condoms lying on the road. “Condoms are just discarded willy nilly on Burger, Prince Alfred and Lytton streets. This has now become a red-light district and police are not helping us to solve the problems,” she said.

She said the prostitutes burn fires and make a noise “the whole night long” and since there has been an influx of late-night customers, the crime in the area has increased.

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

The municipality has 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  |  prostitution

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