South Africa: Plans for World Cup Prostitution Condemned
Plans by Durban to temporary legalize prostitution and "adult entertainment venues" is meeting with predictably vocal opposition. While this would be an easy way to generate tax-based revenue from an industry that will service (as it were) visiting sports fans anyway, I would think that the risk of HIV transmission would be a larger concern than morality or family values: South Africa has one of the highest infection rates in the world.
eThekwini Municipality authorities are pushing for the City of Durban to have designated adult entertainment areas for tourists and locals during the 2010 World Cup. This will include strip clubs, nightclubs and escort agencies.
But African Nazareth Democratic Movement (ANDM) president Thokozani Hlatshwayo said the proposal was "against the word of God".
Opposition parties fear that, if introduced, it could become permanent.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance and the youth wing of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have condemned the suggestion.
"Plans to legalise Durban's red-light districts before the 2010 World Cup should be condemned in the strongest possible manner," said Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi of the IFP youth brigade.
She said the South African government was sending out mixed messages to young people.
"On the one hand it preaches strong family values and moral regeneration, but on the other hand they want to legalise prostitution on Durban's streets. It doesn't make sense," she said.
Durban's municipality said Germany had many adult entertainment centres during the World Cup in 2006, which were very popular with visitors.
It said while prostitution was illegal in South Africa, it could not ignore the fact that the sex industry thrives during major events like the World Cup.
To address this, entertainment centres such as strip clubs and escort agencies would be located in special areas where they would be safe and easily accessible.
Municipality Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo said a final decision had not yet been taken.