1996/97 Report of the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)

April 16, 1997

SWEAT is the only sex worker organisation promoting health and human rights to sex workers in South Africa.



Our Drop In Centre is the only community drop in facility for sex workers in Cape Town. Sex Workers are welcoem to call in every Wednesday afternoon to socialise, meet other workers and enjoy coffee, tea, listen to music, rad magazines etc. A facilitator is always available to introduce newcomers to others and a trained counsellor is available to support workers.

Once a month, an outside speaker is invited to either conduct a workshop, do a presentation or give a lecture at the Drop In Centre. We have had workshops on Massage, hair care, HIV/AIDS and STD's, Saving Money and Investments, Make Up and cosmetics. More workshops are lined up for the rest of the year.


Due to the fact that we are a small community organisation, our office hours are limited to the afternoons. Our lines will be open from 1pm to 4:30 p.m.

OFFICE HOURS: 13:00 TO 16:30

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Our outreach programmes are divided up into Indoor and Outdoor Projects


Currently our Indoor Project is supported by two volunteers and Shane who service 40 agencies in the city metropole. At least 20 000 condoms per month are distributed through this programme. The agencies are stripper clubs, sex shops, massage parlours or escort agencies.

Pamphlets and media is distributed and sex workers in this sector of the industry are refered either directly to dorcotrs, lawyers etc or to the Drop In Centre for assistance.


Our Outdoor Project has had to be limited to a minimum service provision, until we are able to employ a co-ordinator to really get this sisde of things going. Ilse has done some sterling work in this area.

At the moment Niesa our star volunteer still services the Goodwood, Voortrekker Road beats, the Claremont Beat and the Philadephia -- Van Schoorsdrift area. Riaan from the Indoor project has just started servicing the Greenpoint -- Sea Point Beat.

At the moment we are able to do condom drops and distribute our media to those workers in those areas. Shpould workers have any complaints or issues for us to take up, we are unfortunately only able to take these issues up at the Drop In Centre. This means workers will have to come in for service provision.

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At present we are running workshops for agencies mostly on request. Our Health Promotion workshops include information on HIV/ AIDS and STD's. TB prevention, Drug use information, and appropriate condom usage. Workshops cost R 150-00 per workshop for sex workers and agencies. Should you wish to send a group to participate in a workshop for training purposes, a fee can be negotiated with the Programmes co-ordinator


Counselling is available at the SWEAT Centre. Appointments can be made through the Drop In Centre office and a trained counsellor is available to assist workers health issues, HIV issues, drug issues, crisis support, advice and referral service.

We work collaboratively with Triangle Project every Monday evening to provide HIV and STD screening services to sex workers. A SWEAT counsellor does the pre and post test counselling.

For other medical assistance workers are referred to state health care services or to sympathetic medical and mental healthcare practitioners in the community.


SWEAT has developed a range of media for men and women in the sex industry. These are available and can be posted to you, provided you put a donation in the mail to cover packaging and postage.

We also produce a monthly newsletter called SWEATnews. If you wish to be on the mailing list for SWEAT news, please e-mail us and send a cheque in the mail in the amount of R 40-00 per year for South Africans and R 60 per year for people residing outside the borders of South Africa.

We also produce Health Promotion Packs containing a variety of succinct information for sex workers. These cost R 20 per pack for local and foregin organisations. This excludes postage and should you wish to receive such a pack and are a local organisation Postage is R 5-00. Overseas postage will depend on the distance and size of parcel.


Our Condom distribution programme is located within the Indoor and Outdoor Projects. Sex Workers also collect condoms from the Drop In Centre. We distribute aprroximately 25 to 30 000 condoms per month.


SWEAT collaborates with NGO's and Government Depts that support over objects. We aim to promote health and human rights to sex workers.

We are involved in the International Network for Sex Work Projects, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Equality, the Network Against Child Labour. We work with, amongst others, organisationns like Rape Crisis, Triangle Project, NAPWA, NACOSA, and Womens Centre

We are often called upon to present talks and give presentations on sex work and sex worker issues. We are available to do this at a small fee. These can be negotiated with the programmes Co-ordinator.


Organisations in South Africa dealing with health issues and human rights issues are encouraged to contact us. We can design an appropriate course for your programme. We charge for training services for other organisations and these can be negotiated with the Programmes Co-ordinator.


Research assists the implementation programme of SWEAT in evaluation and guides the intervention method. Ilse Pauw, a researcher and clinical psychologist attached to SWEAT heads up this component. She is in the process of completing an MRC funded research project on street sex workers peer based education. Ilse can be contacted at SWEAT should you wish to discuss.

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2nd Floor Community House
41 Salt River Road
Salt River 7925
Cape Town South Africa

SWEAT P. O. Box 373 Salt River 7924

Cape Town South Africa


TEL: (+27) 21-448-7875/6
NEW FAX: (+27) 21-448-7857

E-MAIL: sweat@iafrica.com


Shane A. Pink-Petzer
Programmes Co-ordinator

Ilse J. Pauw
Research Consultant


Sylvia Abrahams
AIDS Co-ordinator: Dept of Health: Western Cape Ministry of Health

Helene Combrinck, Advocate
Legal. Unniversity of the Western Cape, Law Dept.

Maria Neethling
Owner of an Escort Agency: Interim chair of SWEAT

Gail White
Former AIDS Co-ordinator Western Cape; Regional Director for the Society for Family Health

[Rights Groups]

Created: April 18, 1998
Last modified: January 25, 2000
PO Box 373, Woodstock 7915
Cape Town, S. Africa
Tel: (021) 448-7875
Email: sweat@iafrica.com