A Limpopo organisation assisting victims of sexual abuse has warned against the perils of legalising sex work. Nobesuthu Javu of Ekuphumleni Restoration Home (ThyRest) told a panel led by former SA president Kgalema Motlanthe that decriminalising sex work would worsen sexual crimes.

Limpopo is the last province to hold public hearings to review key legislation passed since 1994.

Javu's organisation, which gives refuge to rape victims, sex workers and victims of human trafficking, said legalising sex work would benefit syndicates and make women more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

"It is a gift to the pimps. It is a gift to the brothels."

Javu said of 188 sex workers assisted in Polokwane, the majority of them wanted a way out. "SA policy must move towards a process of assisting sex workers to exit the business." -