Sex workers hardest hit by SA lockdown: SWEAT

Sex workers are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to include them as an essential service during lockdown. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Sex workers are the hardest hit by the 21-day lockdown.

Lesego Tlhwale from the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) said sex workers are losing income due to the pandemic.

"Sex workers are the hardest hit at this point because of the nature of the work that they do, it requires physical contact.

"With the national lockdown in force, it means that there is no contact that sex workers can do with their clients or ways of making money during this pandemic," said Tlhwale.

She said decriminalising sex work in South Africa would ensure that sex workers would not lose money in the future.

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"If sex work was decriminalised, then sex work would be considered work and they would enjoy labour rights, as every South African in the country.

"So we are saying that sex work needs to be decriminalised so that in times like these they can also be able to claim for UIF and the Temporary Relief Scheme that the President spoke about."