Legalizing Prostitution for World Cup 2010

Much has been made about the strength of South Africa’s infrastructure to host a successful World Cup. To that end, South Africa is considering beefing up their capabilities in providing the best World Cup possible by legalizing prostitution.

It was South African police commissioner Jackie Selebi who first proposed the idea, arguing that if prostitution is legalized, it would free up police to deal with more pressing security issues, but last Wednesday, at an Arts and Culture Department meeting on its plans for social cohesion for 2010, the proposal was presented again, this time from ANC MP George Lekgetho. “It is one of the things that would make it [the tournament] a success because we hear of many rapes, because people don’t have access to them [women],” Lekgetho stated during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture in Parliament.

Not everyone was as keen on the idea as Lekgetho, some seeing it as a joke, and others as an offense. Lekgetho’s idea is supported by many of the same arguments that have been thrown around before. Theoretically so long as it’s legal, it will be easy to license, regulate, and tax. It would provide money for the country, establish some guidelines and safety precautions for the workers and their patrons, and generally allow the prostitutes more organizational capabilities, providing more safety and empowerment. There is also the issue of HIV. Legalizing prostitution could pave the way for regulations on mandatory testing for HIV and other STD’s, making it safer for both the prostitutes and their patrons. Said Lekgetho, “If sex working is legalised people would not do things in the dark. That would bring us tax and would improve the lives of those who are not working.”

The remainder of the meeting focused on the customer service in South Africa, but the topic of legalizing prostitution for the 2010 tournament was left for further consideration, with another ANC MP, Christopher Gololo suggesting the topic be an issue given to the public to debate. However, DA MP Sydney Opperfman pointed out the danger in “commercializing” the relationship, stating, “You cannot attach a price to the deepest union between a man and a woman and link it to our tax base.”

On the other hand, the issue of human trafficking and abuse cannot be ignored as football fans across the globe flock to the fragile nation for football and all the other accessories that go with the game. Alcohol and sex seem to be as big a part of many fans’ experience as watching the matches itself. Legalizing prostitution may make fans safer, and make their access to prostitutes a little bit cleaner, but South Africa is correct in realizing that their country’s long-term identity will not be defined solely by 2010, and weighing the detriments compared to the benefits of such a drastic policy shift may spell disaster for the country in the long run, if the country isn’t ready for it.

Instead of pondering these profitable but theoretical possibilities, South Africa should look at what they projected they’d be able to produce when they were initially awarded the tournament, and legalizing prostitution was probably not in that dossier.

Its natural for South Africa to refer back to 2006, as Germany served as a fantastic host. The legalized public drinking and prostitution probably helped that along, and to that end, replicating Germany in terms of legalized prostitution makes sense to debate, but Germany also had readied stadiums and roads and transportation. Cart before the horse, really.

EuroBall - Play and Win Tickets to Euro 2008
Aston Villa 4-1 Newcastle United Live Blog - Keegan's Army Humbled

36 Comments

  1. Andrei10 February, 2008
  2. Steve Amoia10 February, 2008
  3. Hugo Steckelmacher10 February, 2008
  4. stephen christian28 March, 2008
  5. Erika lambert2 May, 2008
  6. lloyd peterson6 May, 2008
  7. Kyle2 July, 2008
  8. rowan sewchurran13 July, 2008
  9. BAP14 September, 2008
  10. rowan sewchurran14 September, 2008
  11. karel20 April, 2009
  12. anonymous8 May, 2009
  13. Mahmood21 May, 2009
  14. Hlengiwe26 June, 2009
  15. goodwill12 August, 2009
  16. JACQUA2 January, 2010
  17. funkie5 January, 2010
  18. omid10 February, 2010
  19. Yaseen21 February, 2010
  20. JS2 March, 2010
  21. mcitheka.t11 March, 2010
  22. T. Simelane11 March, 2010
  23. Sihle Gumede12 March, 2010
  24. Malebo kgomo116 March, 2010
  25. nicole marx25 March, 2010
  26. NT26 March, 2010
  27. zinhle and Lauren13 April, 2010
  28. Sakhele17 April, 2010
  29. Gadervy22 April, 2010
  30. sadiya murchie29 April, 2010
  31. PALEDI PRECIOUS3 May, 2010
  32. Zézinha21 May, 2010
  33. marces angula26 May, 2010
  34. Mark Russell3 June, 2010
  35. Gary5 June, 2010
  36. mjmort1 July, 2010