THE challenges ravaging Africa’s most advanced economy have culminated in a menacing trend of females attending university, married women as well as employed South African women engaging in sex work to supplement their insufficient income.
Economic problems, marked by unemployment ballooning to 28 percent, have triggered not only a flurry of women and young girls trading their bodies publicly on raunchy well decorated websites but has sparked a fierce tussle for well-paying clients.
Happening in major cities of the country where ladies of all races- from the majority blacks (including from around the continent), Indians, Asians, White and Coloured- it heralds the so-called oldest profession in the world keeping up with the times spearheaded by rapid technological advancements.
Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg are the major cities where the university scholars and professional women have joined their fellow females who have been engaged in sex trade for ages such that they no longer harbor any ambitions of abandoning this trade for formal employment.
“What counts in this business is your looks and beauty plus how you entice men of substance,” gloated a sex worker who identified herself as Avdotya Kuznetsov (Asian), in Rosebank, northwest of Johannesburg.
“These skills, coupled with good public relations, which is knowing how to treat well men, can generate one up to R4 000 (US$272) per day,” Avdotya disclosed.
South Africa’s proposed minimum wage is set at R20 per hour, which translates to around R3,500 per month based on a 40-hour week, or R3,900 per month for those working a 45-hour week.
A 22-year-old South African woman (Refilwe), who has since quit university rhetorically asked, “Why should I waste time studying well knowing I would not find a job?”
“I was doing second year account at the University of Johannesburg but I quit to focus on this business (sex trade), which is generating more money than what my parents can,” the young woman who only identified herself asRefilwe declined to be identified by surname.
She boasted, among others, of a top of-the-range car and insurance with a reputable company.
“All the managers and executives you see at work pass through my place before going to their respective homes. I treat them like royals hence they keep coming,” she said.
Angela Moody (not real name – English) from Ferndale also in Johannesburg is among the latest breed of professionals that have quit their work and opted for sex trade.
“My eyes were shut all those years when I used to go to work for capitalists. My eyes have been opened,” she said.
Moody disclosed her ‘curvaceous’ body was generating an average daily earnings of up to R5 000.
At peak period, which is at the end of the month, she takes home, double the amount, she told CAJ News Africa.
“The secret is to treat men whichever way they want. That way you get what you want most, which is hard cash,” Moody said.
Louisa Grobler (Afrikaans), who operates in the affluent Fourways in Johannesburg, revealed using the spoils from sex trade to cater for her family back in Cape Town.
She sends R5 000 for her extended family’s food, fuel, rentals and schools fees for her siblings.
“At first they (parents) didn’t want to hear about what I’m doing but I was open to them, and that I play it safe and protect myself,’ Grobler said.
“Nine months after I started this business, my father and mom have since endorsed what I’m doing in Johannesburg,” Grobler said.
Another sex worker from Port Elizabeth, who preferred to be called ‘Bodylicious’, said, “I engage men through advertising my body in various commercial websites. Before, the men would come to me, they would first phone to make a booking. Otherwise, I won’t be available.”
She bemoaned that some men proposed for a formal relationship.
“That is something I don’t want to hear for now. In this business is either you ‘f’ or leave me alone….end of story,” she swore.
‘Curvaceous’ Mbatha, as a 21-year-old woman from Durban in KwaZulu Natal, said she would consider marriage when she turned 40.
“For now, I want to make money so that I buy my house, farm and cars for my parents,” she insisted.
She disclosed raking an average of R1 200 to R4 000 per day.
“Month end I sometimes double the money,” Curvaceous said.
A Cambodian woman who referred to herself as Trixie, said trade was blossoming.
When she first came to South Africa three years ago, she operated from a hotel but now owns an apartment in Rivonia.
“I have my own car to drive and pick serious men. Per day I only serve three well paying men….and I’m done,” she said.
Trixxie said she left Cambodia because of poverty and had found South African a greener pasture, having saved over R1 million through sex work.
Asked about the dangers of exposing themselves and clients to sexually transmitted diseases, many said they always used protection (condoms).
According to research by United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), South Africa has highest number of people living with HIV in the world, estimated at 7,2 million, out of a population over 55 million.
One sex worker called ‘Intoyako,’ from Witbank in Mpumalanga complained young girls from schools and universities had “invaded” the industry, forcing men to abandon older women for young blood.
She said when she started five years ago, she made between R1 600 and R4 500 per day but these days, it is difficult to raise R800 because most men prefer young girls.
“When such girls finish the day’s study (colleges and universities), they turn to commercial sex. We are a bit old and can’t compete with them,” Intoyako said.
She claimed some married women, whose husbands work in different cities, were now into commercial sex.
“The game is simple. The men you date call you first to confirm. They see us naked on websites before choosing the ones they so desire. A clever married woman will always have two SIM cards…..one for business and the other for public. To entice men, you would display your naked body, but cover face by virtue of being married woman,” Intoyako claimed.
One Hlalanathi from Midrand, but originally from East London in the Eastern Cape, said, “I love every minute of this type of business. Firstly, you make money. Secondly, you enjoy different men of different shapes and sizes who always come to see you,” Hlalanathi said.
She claimed many men were stressed and came for “better service” than they got at home from their wives.
“I’m no longer desperate for cash, which means I can turn away some men if so I wish,” Hlalanathi added.
– CAJ News