Micky Meji, country coordinator of the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) said the line was initiated to give sex workers a platform to voice their concerns and fears they faced at work.

 ‘€œNot everyone knows where to get help for sex workers. It is not easy for sex workers to get adequate information because they are often scared of revealing what they do to earn a living,’€ said Meji.

She said the line could also be used by anyone who wanted to get information about the sex work industry.  

The line opened at the beginning of June. Meji said they already started receiving calls ‘€œbut most of the calls have been from people checking if the line really works.’€

By dialing the number 0800 60 60 60 sex workers will receive assistance around various issues including sexual health, drug and alcohol problems as well as emotional and work related matters.

Those with e-mail access could send an e-mail to helpline@sweat.org.za.

Sex workers needing assistance would be assisted by trained counsellors from 9 am to 5pm.

Meji said although the line was not yet a 24 hour line sex workers should not be discouraged from leaving voice mail messages.

‘€œWe will attend to all the calls and messages received on the line,’€ she said.

Last year sex workers in the Western Cape started a neighbourhood watch after more the six sex workers were reported to have been murdered throughout the country.