By Mamello Maila
The Uniting Hairdressers and Beautician Association of Africa is determined to help people in
their industry by ensuring they survive once lockdown restrictions are lifted. The beauty industry is still in the hardest hit, as they cannot operate while the country moved into level three of lockdown.The Uniting Hairdressers and Beautician Association of Africa (UHBAA) continues to helpentrepreneurs register their business.
“Our intention is to do as much administrative work as we can during this period so that most of our members can be registered by the time we are allowed to work again.
“We want every salon owner to make their business a ‘work place’,” explains Thandi Nkosi of
UHBAA. She admits that many salons in the townships do not meet the environmental guidelines to operate as a business and most practice without certified trade tests.
“Before we can try to meet the lockdown regulations, we have to excel in industry practices,We
need to be taught how to do our work, while keeping our clients safe”.
“Hairdresser should be wearing gloves while rearranging their clients before they touch them
anyway.” She says, we should embrace this period to convince the government that we can work as professionals. “If we can’t work, we can’t eat and we can’t pay our bills. We can’t afford our basic needs at this point,” adds Valencia Thekiso, a salon owner.
The entrepreneurs closed the doors of their businesses on the 26 March after the president
announced the national lockdown. “It is also going to be difficult for us to rebuild our clientele when we reopen,” says Selloane Singo.
Thomas Sibuyi says: “We have had to think of innovative ways to serve our customers.
“For example, they could drop off their weaves and we can wash and style them without having people in the salon.” They all agree that government could have done better to police business owners during the lockdown.
“We closed our businesses, but we know others stayed open,” concludes Nkosi.