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The border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is more than an international boundary; it also determines the method of payment for sex workers, because on one side cash is taken, while on the other, goods are bartered. The South African frontier town of Musina is a regional trucking hub that has long been a haunt of sex workers, who use the boredom of truck drivers waiting for their cargo to be cleared by customs as a window of opportunity.
They come here in their short skirts and tight jeans and ask us if we want to have a good time," a Zimbabwean truck driver, who declined to be identified, told IRIN. I use protection whenever I have sex with a woman. It is better than nothing - there are more women here. Another Zimbabwean truck driver, who identified himself only as Dube, said there were now more sex workers from Zimbabwe, and he did not know where truck drivers could get free condoms.
They just want money that will enable them to take care of their families back home," he said. South Africa, the continent's economic power house, has become a magnet for Zimbabweans seeking work and an escape from the grinding poverty at home. More than three million Zimbabweans - around a quarter of the population - are thought to have left the country since for neighbouring states, or further afield for England, Canada and Australia. The Corridors of Hope research project, carried out before Zimbabwe's crisis, noted that "The HIV vulnerability of young women, including schoolgirls and young vendors, who seek an income from commercial or casual sex with truckers and other groups of older men with income, is distressingly high.
Most sex workers stay in the informal settlements or low-income suburbs and travel to the border to solicit truckers at the border truck stop. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. Tougher US policies and an overwhelmed asylum system in Mexico have left African migrants stranded after flying halfway around the world.
MUSINA The border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is more than an international boundary; it also determines the method of payment for sex workers, because on one side cash is taken, while on the other, goods are bartered.