PROSITUTION … PRODUCT OF POVERTY
By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
Prostitutes are patrolling the streets of Durban more effectively than the police. Now the residents of Glenwood have prostitutes right outside their gates, fearlessly exposing what should be their pride and joy, but now looks drained out and not as youthful as it should.
Prostitution is something that many view at a long distance, something you do not want to be part of or even interfere with. You would not recognise any of the women who shamelessly protrude their assets to strange men on the streets because they are not part of the community they work in. If they were, they would have the ‘loose’ stigma on top of their head.
Sunshine or fall, these girls would never miss a day of work. And their faithful customers who arrive in all types of cars, from, the flashiest roadsters, to the not so posh looking bakkies, wouldn’t let a day of work go to waste.
Girls who hardly look 15 stand on the pavement waiting for their next catch to swim by, or drive by rather. The young girls claim they are 19 and above. They also say that they wish to return to school in the following year. However, they are still seen on this road, in skimpy clothing on Esther Roberts Road, come the following school semester.
Police vans patrol every now and again, but these girls have mastered the skill of hiding away from them- it is quick and professional.
What are the true causes of prostitution, and what can be done to stop it? The causes of prostitution are debatable, according to Dudu Khwela, a community facilitator for a medical research company.” Many girls that prostitute themselves do it because they feel like they have failed in life. Many have dropped out of school, which makes it very difficult to find work. Prostitution is more of a socio-economic problem than a psychological issue. It becomes a never ending cycle.”
So something is being done on a psychological level, but is it enough? What about the law and order in Glenwood? Are the local police working to fix this problem? The Ward Councillor in this area doesn’t seem to think so. Warwick Bruce Chapman feels that the Umbilo police do not deal with the problem, instead they get involved. “Prostitution is a business as old as time. As long as we have poverty, we will have prostitution, so come next election vote economic growth.”
Despite the grim outlook, there is hope. Prostitution seems an incurable disease. There is, however always a counter to incurable diseases; With the right measures, they can be prevented and treated.