Commercial Sex, Survival Sex And Transactional Sex In Contemporary South Africa

1715 words - 7 pages

Commercial sex, survival sex and transactional sex in contemporary South Africa

The notion of commercial sex, survival sex and transactional sex in contemporary South Africa are explored in this essay with specific reference to the studies conducted as well as the factors both micro-level and macro-level which have lead to these high-risk practices in different areas.

Hunter highlights the vital role that gifts play in fuelling everyday sexual relations between men and women. Older more well off men buy gifts and support their younger poorer girlfriends for sexual favours. One. Voluntary. testing study in KwaZulu-Natal found that nearly three. Times. As. many as fifteen to ...view middle of the document...

The article argues for three factors that come toether to lead to transactonal sex. The first is the privilged economic positon of men. The second factor is masculine discurses that place a high value on men having multiple sexual partners’ relations. The third factor is the agency of women themselves. A central argment of this paper is that women aproach transactional relations not as passive victims, but in order to access power and resources in ways that can both challenge and reproduce patriarchal structures.

Most imporantly Hunter attempts to give an explanation for this “sugar daddy” problem by first exploring, the historical context which led to it. In 1971 the was developed as an “industrial decentrlisation” zone Between 1989 and 1999, in particular, the informal settlement surrounding the park grew tremendously. Industrial growth, then, went hand in hand with gowing gedered social divisions in Madeni. Sunumbili Township was never able to provide sufficient accommodation for Mandeni’s rapidly growing industrial workforce. As a result, informal settlements grew quickly on tribal land surrounding the industrial park. Inequalities developed due to the rapid growth as well as the housing market: Migrants searching for labour secured accommodation in two ways. Those who had a reiable incme, bought land and built his house on this plot. Those who were less well off, rented imijondolo(singeroomed dwellings). The building of imijndolo the prosperous soon developed into a lucrative business for those with the means to take advantage of these opportunities. These inequalitis produced a class of landlods, a class of rsidents with access to a small plot of land, and, crucially, a class that owned nothing.
“In the early 1990s, while political violence wreaked havoc in the tonship and informal settlements, industrial restructuring steaily eoded mployment in the indusrial park,” This was due to: the slow growth of the South African economy, the phasing out of incentives for decentralised areas, and the rapid unionsation of the 1980s. After 1994, trade liberalisation and the goverment’s free-market principles, accelerated this restructuring. Many of the South African owned clothing firms (women’s main employment) were unable to compete with foreign compettion, and thus losed or relocated. Retrencments had disastrous consequences for women. ompenstion was frequently extremely small, giving laid-off women only a tiny amount of capital with which to start informal enterrises. Today, men can still earn R1,000 per week working at either the SAPPI paper mill or several large metal firms — more than ten times the earnigs of many women. There contiues to be rapid in-migration, despite a erosion of jobs and wrking conditions. Rent and land prices have continued to rise and new arrivals are usually unable to buy their own plot of land .For women; the sexual economy has become an important source of survival. This concept of masculnity plays an important role...

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