Cape Town - 120430 - A butler for an attorneys offices in Melkbosstrand, Victor Katekwa, alleges that the owner of this Melkbosstrand barber shop (pictured), Tanya Louwm, refused to cut his hair because she said she hasn't been trained to cut black peoples hair. Reporter: Daneel Knoetze Picture: David Ritchie

Daneel Knoetze


The DA has launched an investigation into an alleged racist incident after a Melkbosstrand hairdresser refused to cut a man’s hair.

Tanya Louw, the owner of The Barber Shop in Beach Road, reportedly refused to cut Victor Katekwa’s hair because she “couldn’t”.

She explained that she was only trained to do white people’s hair and added that her barber shop was probably too expensive for most black patrons.

Katekwa, who works in Melkbosstrand as a butler, said he had wanted his hair shaved off, and didn’t understand why a hairdresser needed special training to do that.

Dirk Smit, Speaker for the City of Cape Town, said Premier Helen Zille was viewing the matter in a very serious light and had tasked him with conducting an investigation.

“I can confirm that I have spoken to Mrs Louw, but I have not yet had the opportunity to talk to Mr Katekwa. Once I have wrapped up the investigation I will report back to the premier and she will decide what course of action should be taken.”

Zille confirmed that she had received Louw’s account, but refused to comment further.

Louw, meanwhile, has been advised by her lawyer to not speak publicly.

Elouise Nell, the acting administrator of the Bargaining Council for the Hairdressing Trade, Cape Peninsula, said the council would conduct an independent investigation.

Louwrens Koekemoer of the International Hairdressing Academy in Cape Town said: “To do this is not only racist, it is illegal as well.

“Cutting is cutting, the fundamental principles are the same for all hair types.”

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