MEMBERS of the Asijiki Coalition for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work gathered outside parliament yesterday.
The activists said they wanted to thank President Cyril Ramaphosa for his commitment to decriminalising sex work and for protecting the rights of women in the industry.
National co-ordinator and founding member of the movement, Kholi Buthelezi, said they were handing over a sunflower to the president to thank him.
She said current laws were cruel and treated sex workers like criminals.
“The criminalisation of sex work puts them in danger as they can’t access the legal and health services enjoyed by everyone else,” she said.
“Decriminalisation will change sex workers’ lives, as it will help get rid of the discrimination against them.”
Sex worker Felicia Abrahams said they’re judged when they go to clinics.
“When I take a whole box of condoms, nurses look at me in a weird way and ask why I’m taking so many,” she said.
“When I tell them I’m a sex worker, their reaction is not good. The president is our only hope now for us to be welcomed into society.
“Sex work is work. New Zealand recently decriminalised sex work and made a law allowing the workers to lay a charge if clients refuse to use condoms.”
She said magoshas are not treated fairly in South Africa.
The president was not there to accept the flower, but Charles Ford from the Presidency accepted it and promised to make sure it would be delivered to Ramaphosa.