Not less than 200 sex workers took to the streets of Johannesburg to demand that prostitution be decriminalized.
An estimated 120,000 and 180,000 sex workers operate in South Africa, according to aid organisations.
According to Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), prostitutes are often victims of violence and rape.
SWEAT says around 10 sex workers are murdered each year, but many go unreported.
“The police harass us and ask us for money. And sex workers who are abused by their clients cannot just go to the police station and file a case, because they would be prosecuted for being sex workers,” explains Yonela Sinqu of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT).
The protesters who marched with their faces covered requested that the government legalize prostitution
According to Constance Mathe, who has been in the profession for 16 years she said “I purchased my own house out of this work,”
Dlamini said at the protest “Sex work is work, not a crime, Around here, the group advanced with signs held aloft reading “Where is the crime?”, “Decrime sex work now”.
The country’s prostitution laws which date back to the apartheid era punish sex workers and their clients.