Students in Eswatini are selling sex to affluent tourists, many from South Africa, for food because the government has not paid allowances.
A recent report in the Swazi Observer said the students were taken from the Kwaluseni campus of the University of Eswatini (formerly UniSwa), “for purposes of pimping them to affluent tourists flooding a popular hangout spot in Matsapha”.
“These businessmen take advantage of the girls’ financial situation on campus and select ‘top of the grade’ individuals for purposes of promoting their business into hosting upmarket guests,” reported the Observer.
“They also take advantage of the girl’s academic statuses to market them to guests who arrive solely for purposes of whetting their sexual appetites.”
The delay of meagre government payments was believed to be behind the girls selling themselves for basic foodstuffs with businessmen targeting the youngest first-year students.
There is an ongoing dispute between students and the government over the payment of scholarships and allowances that cover fees, living expenses, and items such as books, Swazimedia.blogspot reported.
In May 2017, the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) launched a campaign for scholarships for all.
They are fighting for Mbabane to reverse its decision to cut scholarships by 60%, and for all students admitted to higher learning institutions to have scholarships, regardless of the programme they are doing or the institution they are in.