DA goes to court to save ‘thousands of livelihoods’ in beauty industry

Angela Khosa at her hair salon in Soweto. The DA says the blanket prohibition on the entire personal-care industry is irrational, arbitrary and ‘subject to the whims of some unidentified minister’.
The DA has taken the government to court over the continued lockdown on hairdressers and other personal-care service providers.

DA MP Dean Macpherson filed urgent papers in the Western Cape High Court on Monday to have the ban and “criminalisation of personal care” services, which includes hairdressers, declared invalid and unconstitutional.

This comes after the party gave co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma until last Wednesday to provide the reasons and rationale for the ban.

“The minister has also failed to meet a self-imposed deadline of June 5 to publish regulations for the industry as she had promised,” said Macpherson on Monday. “The DA therefore has been left with no choice but to take this legal step to save the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered at the hands of this government that does not care about them, and could not be bothered to provide any reasons for their hardship.

“We also believe that it is simply unjustifiable that almost every other industry is allowed to operate subject to health precautions except the personal-care industry,” added Macpherson.

He claimed that the indefinite ban violates section 22 of the constitution, which allows citizens the right to practise their trade, occupation or profession freely, which may be regulated by law.

“In our papers, we have argued that the blanket prohibition on the entire industry is irrational and arbitrary, which is prohibited from operating indefinitely, subject to the whims of some unidentified minister that should provide ‘directions’ for the industry.

“This ban therefore cannot be considered constitutional if the ‘regulated law’ undermines a person’s right to trade indefinitely,” said Macpherson.

He added that closing this industry does not only stop people getting haircuts, piercings or tattoos.

“It stops people keeping a roof over their heads and putting food on the table. After more than two months of lockdown, any continued prohibition would require the most compelling justification. We believe there simply is none,” he said.


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