Public opinion regarding decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa: Post 2010 Soccer World Cup™ analysis

  • J Surujlal
  • M Dhurup
Keywords: Sex work, exploitation, decriminalisation, risks, family, HIV/AIDS


Soccer mega-events attract more tourists than any other mega-events. Tourists, who in addition to the main attraction of the event, also have an interest in satisfying their sexual needs. In the months preceding the FIFA 2010 World Cup™ in South Africa (SA) increased attention was drawn towards, amongst others, the infrastructure, the crime situation, the performance of the national team and sex work. Sex work received increased attention because of the anticipated increased demand for it. Subsequently, sex work was decriminalized in South Africa. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether public opinion regarding the decriminalisation of sex work has changed after the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup™. A quantitative research design involving the administration of a two-section questionnaire was adopted for the study. Data were analysed by computing frequencies and percentages on each item in the questionnaire and conducting principal component analysis. Six factors, namely risks associated with sex work (10 items), family and society (8 items), abnormal behaviours (4 items), positive outcomes (4 items), exploitation (2 items), access to the sex industry (2 items) were extracted. Concerns still exist regarding the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. Health issues, morals and values and exploitation are important factors that still need to be addressed.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939