Bonn, the former West German capital, has introduced a parking meter for prostitutes, a first in Germany, in order to tax those who just work the streets, a city spokesperson said Wednesday.
"We expect to get some €200 000 per year from the meter," said Isabelle Klotz.
The meter, which looks like those used for parked cars, was inaugurated at the weekend in an industrial area, near the centre of town, used by sex workers to solicit clients.
Sex workers have to pay €6 per night worked, regardless of how many customers they have.
On Monday when the meter was first emptied, 264 had been paid in, Klotz said.
Some 200 women are believed to occasionally work the streets in Bonn, but the average overnight tally is 20.
If prostitutes fail to buy a ticket, valid overnight from 8pm to 6 am, they will first be warned and then fined, she added. Leaflets in German and other languages have been handed out to inform the sex workers of the new rule.
"Other towns also tax prostitutes but we are the first to have a meter," Klotz said.
"Women who work in brothels also pay the tax. But until now it had been difficult to get women on the street to pay. Thanks to this new method we will be able to tax them in all fairness with the others", she added.
Juanita Rosina Henning, from the Dona Carmen sex worker support group, called for the meter's removal, saying the women already pay income tax on their earnings.
"This has nothing to do with fiscal equality," she said, adding that sex workers were the only citizens to be taxed in such a way.
"We call on the city to remove the meter," she added.
In Africa, the reception of the new policy on prostitutes has been positively welcomed mostly by decision makers based on their follow up reactions in their local papers. Most of African leaders agreed that such system will go a long way to monitor and record the activities of the curb crawlers and also help to generate small revenue which could aid local road infrastructural maintenance if introduced across the continent.
Africa currently has the highest number of prostitutes around the globe but do not have a system in place to monitor the activities of the prostitutes left alone for them to pay tax.