Prostitution has become rather common in Glenwood with brothels posing as BnB’s and sex workers waiting on the residential streets from early morning onwards.
Ward 33 Councillor, Mmabatho Tembe said that she had been receiving complaints from residents in the area. “The biggest problem is that the brothels are just too close by,” said Tembe who explained that it is difficult to shut down brothels when they are registered as BnB’s and zoned correctly. “The fact is that the land is zoned for one thing, a BnB, but used as a brothel,” said Tembe.
While prostitution is illegal in South Africa, arresting offenders proves ineffective because they are soon released said Tembe. “I think Metro Police and SAPS should work together to find a better solution to prostitution in the area,” added Tembe.
Metro Police Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed that authorities would be addressing the problem. “We will be conducting joint operations with all enforcement agencies soon,” said Sewpersad.
Despite the fact that some BnB’s are charging hourly rates, proving that a ‘BnB’ is actually a brothel, it is a difficult task, said Tembe. “It’s hard to shut those down because they are registered as BnB’s. You can’t prosecute someone for renting a room at a BnB,” said Tembe.
The false front of these brothels lowers the name of legitimate BnBs, according to a business owner in the area who wished to remain anonymous. The fact that prostitutes are standing on street corners also changes the way visitors see the area, said the business owner.
Concerned community members can report suspicious activity to the police by making a call. “I suggest the community report suspicious activity by calling 031 361 00 00,” said Sewpersad.