OnlyFans, giving more visibility to a certain type of Prostitution (South Africa)

The platform is full of people of all persuasions trying to make a buck in adult entertainment by satisfying watchers’ needs, ranging from those who have foot fetishes to those who are willing to pay women to wear the outfit they choose for them for the day. The line is very grey as to whether OnlyFans constitutes prostitution which in South Africa is still illegal, despite moves by NGOs such as Sonke Gender Justice and Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) to change that with slogans such as ‘sex work is work’. Phelelani Dladla, a candidate attorney from Ryan D Lewis Inc Attorneys, says, according to the Sexual Offences Act 23 of 1957 as well as the Criminal Law (sexual offences and related matters) Amendment Act 2007, prostitution and related activities are prohibited by law. Dladla adds that Section 20 of the Sexual Offences Act states that any person who lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution shall be guilty of an offence. He cited the case of Jordan v the State in 2002 (6), where it was argued that the state should not control or tell citizens what to do with their bodies, whether public or private. The adult content initially received mainstream attention after prostitutes began using the site during the Covid-19 hard lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, when they could not earn cash the usual way.