Hair and beauty technicians petition to start working

Employer’s organisation has collected nearly 70,000 signatures

Photo of local hairdressers

Hair and beauty technicians have started an online petition pleading for government to reconsider its decision and allow them to operate during the current level 4 lockdown. Archive photo: Joseph Chirume

By Mary-Anne Gontsana

6 May 2020

Hair and beauty technicians have started an online petition pleading with government to allow them to operate during the current level 4 lockdown.

The petition, started by the Employers Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB), was posted on 25 April. It has already received more than 69,700 signatures out of its target of 75,000.

The EOHCB is appealing to the government to reconsider the risk adjustment level, which is currently level 1, for the hairdressing, cosmetology, beauty and skincare industry. They want to operate under strict health and safety protocols and regulations.

Last month, we reported on how Shaughn Adams of Image and Hair salon in Observatory was too afraid to check his business’s turnover since he was forced to close up shop at the start of the lockdown. We also visited a popular salon in Gugulethu’s Kanana informal settlement. One knock on the salon’s white container doors and customers were let inside despite it being prohibited during the lockdown.

This week Dane Frost, an operational representative at EOHCB told GroundUp that the industry was in dire need to resume operations as soon as possible.

“The industry consists of small business owners. The financial pressures induced by the lockdown quickly moved from short time arrangements before the lockdown to consideration of retrenchments and closures,” he said. “After talking with members on various online platforms, we pledged to assist with the necessary precautionary Covid-19 protocols to ensure that our industry serves the public in a hygienic and safe environment without … spreading the virus.”

Frost said EOHCB is developing a Covid-19 manual to outline, guide and assist businesses with compliance in the workplace. This will include workplace risk assessment; screening and testing of employees and the general public for symptoms; visible social distancing indicators and Covid-19 information; suitable personal protective equipment; policies and procedures including a policy for employees older than 60 and any employee with comorbidities; and daily recordings of contact-tracing.

“We in conjunction with our organisational and industry partners are busy with our next sectorial submission in accordance with the published regulations for submission later this week,” said Frost.