Sex workers want to be included as essential service during lock-down

Lesego Tlhwale. SWEAT.

Sex workers in South Africa have called upon president Cyril Ramaphosa to include them as essential service during lock-down.

Lesego Tlhwale, an activist from Sex Workers Education Advocacy Task-force ( SWET) has called on the government to consider them as essential service citing that sex work is the oldest profession in the world.

“With us being sex workers activists, we consider this work which is providing for families, with lock down coming we see that sex workers are also going to be losing income due to the pandemic,” she said.

Tlhwale also added that with the lock-down being imposed, it makes it difficult for sex workers to feed their families and survive.

“The nature of work that sex workers do, requires physical contact and with the outbreak of COVID-19, sex workers are the hardest hit. They are losing money and at this point we call upon the president to think of sex workers while his government will be aiding and assisting other workers,”

On Monday 23 March, the president declared that as of midnight March 26, South Africa will be under lock-down for 21 days in order to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

President Ramaphosa also said that there is a proposal for a special dispensation for companies that are in distress due to COVID-19.