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Sex Workers and The World Cup, An Update

September 3, 2010

Sex workers: the biggest losers at the World Cup

While many are still coming down from the excitement of the World Cup, Zodwa Sangweni* is one South African who was disappointed by how the much-hyped event turned out. A sex worker in Johannesburg, Sangweni said despite predictions that sex business would be booming, the World Cup season was actually a bust.

“We didn’t work well, there was no money,” she said. “Maybe for those who work in hotels but for us on the streets, we didn’t get any business.”

Ahead of the global sporting spectacle – which has a reputation for off-the-pitch debauchery – many were speculating that the real winners of the event would be sex workers. An influx of as many as 40,000 sex workers was anticipated, mostly from Zimbabwe, but also from as far away as Russia.

However, just as there were fewer spectators than planned, so too were sex workers.

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