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Monday, June 09, 2014

The Fuss Over South Africa’s Sex Toyshop Opposite Its Parliament: Are The Politicians Justified?

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
June 9, 2014

An erection of a sex toyshop opposite South Africa’s Parliament on Plein Street, Cape Town, has flustered the country’s African National Congress party, which is raising questions about the location of the adult entertainment shop.

South African news portals report that ANC Chief Whip, Stone Sizani, says an adult shop within the vicinity of Parliament does not augur well for the integrity and standing of such a constitutional body.

The country’s African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), is also said to have kicked against the siting of the shop that is a stone-throw away from the Parliament House.

To them, such adult shop own by the Adult World Group has the tendency to ‘lower the tone and image of Parliament as an institution’. Questions have been raised as to whether the owners of the shop have obtained permit to operate such a business at that part of the city as well as a licence to operate.

While authorities at the City of Cape Town claim they have no record of the shop’s trading licence, owners also claim they were properly licenced to operate in the area in 2004; claims which are currently being investigated.

Adult World Group operates 60 of such adult shops through South Africa with 400 employees. Laws that prohibited the adult entertainment industry were repealed in 1994, making South Africa one of the countries in the world with the most liberal constitutional and legal frameworks on matters sexual.

Recently, I have turned myself as an activist against sex toys as I find them to be despicable! Just June 2, I wrote an article on this blog raising questions as to what would push humans with life in them to seek sexual pleasure in toys!

My conclusion was that, if such men and women are not sexual perverts, then they may be sex maniacs.  Unfortunately, in the case of the current row between the South African politicians and the sex toyshop owners, I’d want to digress a bit. That’s not to say I’ve given in on my activism, no!

The ANC and the ACDP are primarily grounding their opposition to the shop’s location on morality. Of course, the politicians would sway anyone with high moral principles, but the big question is, does the siting of the shop make the operators guilty?

Seriously, I find as ridiculous, how the shop could offend “certain people’s moral sensibilities and discourage them from visiting Parliament” as claimed by the ANC, even when those people have not entered the shop. First of all, who are the ‘certain people’ the ANC is referring to, and is it the case that those people are important than the larger South African Society?

It’s a matter of fact that adult sex toyshops abound in South Africa and that some of the dildos and vibrators are manufactured in that country. Is the ANC therefore saying that those who use other streets where some of the adult shops are located do not have moral sensibilities or it’s just that their moral sensibilities cannot be offended? Or is the ANC saying that those people do not get their sensibilities offended whenever they get pass by other such shops in town?

Further, are the Parliamentarians and those who visit there more important than the entire population? I think the ANC should come again. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!

In any case, if the ANC believes sex toyshops can offend one’s moral sensibility, why did it (I mean its Parliamentarians) legalise it in the first place? If the circumstance that influenced the legislators at the time to legalise it in 1994 has changed, what stops them from revisiting the law to perhaps, criminalise sex toy business? After all, that falls within their constitutional mandate.

To me, if there is anyone to fault, it should be the politicians, particularly the legislators who are paid with the taxpayers’ money to make laws for the governing of the post-apartheid South Africa.

And hey, did I read also that this shop could taint the integrity of the South African Parliament? This is indeed laughable. If the ANC is looking for Parliamentary integrity, then it should look within its walls, because I hardly find any correlation between the location of the shop and how it affects Parliamentary integrity.

In my opinion, the South African Parliament has fallen flat on this one because I think the outburst is not tenable! Once the shop satisfies all the legal requirements, it should be allowed to operate in the vicinity, in the interest of democracy! Notwithstanding, I still don’t subscribe to sex toy businesses.

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