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Johannesburg - Gauteng sex workers have made impassioned pleas for the decriminalisation of their trade.

The workers took their frustration to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Thursday to fight what they called exploitation, abuse, discrimination and violence.

We work for our children in order to give them a better future and for them to get to schools that we couldnt, she said.

Another sex worker, who wouldnt name herself, said: Sex workers are citizens of this country.

Thursday also marked the commemoration by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and Sisonke National Sex Workers Movement in South Africa of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

The day is celebrated on December 17, but the groups arranged memorial events in several provinces on Thursday to stand in solidarity with sex workers and their coalition, named Asijiki, to decriminalise the trade.

The deep stigma and vulnerability of sex workers to violence and harassment has further been illustrated by the recent actions of the police in Pretoria, who, in response to the murder of a sex worker, terrorised the deceased's colleagues who were willing to give statements, and set fire, four times, to their shacks and possessions, the group said in a statement.

The legislature also adopted two other reports, following submissions on both, on the decriminalisation of sex work - one of access to health ser-vices and another on access to the economy.The chairwoman of committees at the legislature, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, said they would submit the reports to the various departments, and the sex workers would be given feedback next year regarding their submissions. licensing staff on strike again IOL News Johannesburg - To the dismay of those trying to get vehicle licences, Joburg's licensing department went on strike again on Thursday.According to Jack Mokalapa, a leader from the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), the workers had raised concerns about the pay advertised for new positions requiring no experience, compared with the salaries for experienced workers.Police officers always tell sex workers that they do not have any rights.An example will be that of police officers raping sex workers.Sweat said that last year saw a high number of brutal murders of sex workers, one being Desiree Murugan, whose body was found beheaded in Durban.

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