The streets of more than 40 towns and townships in Limpopo could be deserted this weekend, as sex workers across the province are expected to head, en masse, to the ANC’s provincial elective conference in Polokwane.
The ANC said it saw nothing wrong with this, as long as the ladies of the night didn’t interfere with the business of the day.
The governing party will hold its elective congress at the Ranch Hotel, about 12km away from the city centre of Polokwane, the provincial capital city, starting tomorrow and ending on Sunday.
“ANC people are big spenders. They have money and they know how to spend it,” a sex worker operating from Agatha Street in Tzaneen, east of Polokwane, told The Citizen yesterday.
The 22-year-old, who introduced herself as “Lady of Styles”, said she began operating during the Fifa World Cup tournament.
“At the time, we travelled as far as Soweto, Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein working. For a session, we used to charge between R200 to R500.
“But now, my colleagues and I will be going to Polokwane for the conference of the ANC. We hope to make big bucks because we intend to raise our price from R50 per session to R300 or R1 500 per night,” added “Lady of Styles”, flanked by eight other ladies who braved the cold winter weather to woo potential clients on the street on Tuesday night.
At the mining town of Phalaborwa, several other ladies of the night ply their trade, catering to workers at the more than four mines located adjacent to the Kruger National Park. They line the streets at every corner of the town and the main road leading to the national park, the 7 Sai and Skietog Farm military bases.
“This town is becoming a ghost town”, said a lady who refused to mention her name. “We hardly make a penny any more in this town. Our families are starving. We need to make money at the ANC conference this weekend.
“What we are sure of is that these ANC people will spend three days without their wives. This means they will be sexually starving and that is where we come in. We will do whatever it takes to make sure they go home on Sunday smiling from ear to ear.”
But their plans may not materialise as Limpopo police have promised to be on high alert.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said they had dispatched officers to the conference for any eventuality.
“Prostitutes know very well that their business is illegal. We have deployed a good number of police offers to the conference to deal with such incidents,” he said. “We are ready for the conference and we will arrest anyone who pulls such stunts. As long as we have proof that you are prostituting, we will arrest you and put you behind bars without any hesitation.”
Meanwhile, the Limpopo ANC said it didn’t see anything wrong with women doing their business at the conference.
ANC provincial spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said everyone had the right to “do business”.
“If prostitution is in contravention of the law of this country, they will then do their job,” said Ntshavheni. “Ours is to make sure that the conference is free and fair and that all the delegates are safe ….”