Addressing the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture in Parliament on Tuesday, George Lekgetho said the decriminalisation of prostitution would help to ensure that the tournament is a success.
Other MPs said the issue should be debated publicly. The MPs were speaking following a presentation by Arts and Culture on its plans for social cohesion for 2010.
Last year, police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said such a move would allow the police to deal with more important security issues.
The Human Sciences Research Council has also warned that if SA did not expedite the decriminalisation of the sex industry, it would have a ripple effect on human trafficking.
However, according to reports emanating from Ghana, sex workers who have flocked to the four cities hosting the Group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations, are not finding it easy. Even though considered one of the oldest trades in the world, it is a practice authorities in Ghana don’t want to hear-of.
At the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, police have been battling out with the sex workers with around 240 arrested within a week. Those arrested include 60 minor girls, 101 women, 76 men and a 15-year-old boy – who was suspected to be a prospective client. Every night about 70 law enforcement officials ‘pounce’ on the prostitutes, arresting some of them in the act.
Owners of bars that are being frequented by the prostitutes are also arrested and searches carried out on their premises.
Most of the girls have been scantily dressed, while some looked weak as if they had been hawking all night long.
Some of the prostitutes revealed to pressmen that, it is their own way of fighting poverty and that they are frequenting other haunts as they are being prevented from selling their services on the streets.
Security measures have also been strengthened at hotels, although the PRO of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, Inspector Yusif Mohammed says that it is difficult at times to identify a prostitute.