Who is SWEAT? (25 May 2009)


Dear Editor

I am grateful to the Argus for having printed Errol Naidoo's insightful article ("Prostitution policy must target clients", 22 May) about how the legalisation of prostitution in other countries has been an absolute disaster.
I don't understand why SWEAT's (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce) views have been so well represented in the media and have been given so much attention by the SA Law Reform Commission. They seem to have adopted for their purposes a very extreme ideological approach which is not shared by the majority of South Africans.
It seems they are a lobby group but they don't assist with drug rehabilitation and job skills exit programmes for prostitutes. One wonders therefore how they have a mandate to act on behalf of prostitutes? Prostitutes who have been interviewed by various researchers seem to have very different views to those articulated on behalf of prostitutes by SWEAT. Does SWEAT have a membership list? Do they represent the brothel owners, pimps and traders or who?
Straatwerkers, Shared Hope, Inter-outreach and Doctors for Life deal with the real problems faced by prostitutes and have direct contact with them in helping them to exit this form of gender-based violence and exploitation. The insights gained by these organisations also need to be represented in the media.

Taryn Hodgson

Africa Christian Action

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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