Picture: Ashley Landis/AP/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ashley Landis/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

DA in urgent court bid over regulations governing hairdressers, personal care services

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

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Johannesburg - The DA has filed court papers at the Western Cape High Court seeking to have the lockdown regulations prohibiting personal care services from operating to be declared unconstitutional and invalid.

The DA has found an issue with services such as hairdressers, salons, and grooming services, being prohibited under level 3 of the national lockdown. The party said these industries were suffering as they were unable to operate.

It had written a letter to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma seeking an explanation on the further ban on the industry with a deadline of June 3.

The party said since the minister had failed to respond on the given deadline, there was no choice but to approach the courts.

“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 projects except the personal care industry.

“The DA further believes that the Ministers indefinite "ban" violates section 22 of the Constitution which allows citizens the right to practice their trade, occupation or profession freely which may be regulated by law,” the party said on Monday.

The legal challenge would focus on the constitutional right for trade which the DA claims were being impeded by the indefinite lockdown.

“In our papers, we have argued that the blanket prohibition on the entire personal care 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,” the party said.

This latest court action was part of a string of court challenges being faced by the government regarding the regulations governing the lockdown. 

The DA has also approached the Constitution Court seeking to challenge the entire Disaster Management Act and the regulations promulgated under it. 

Last week the government said it would appeal a High Court decision that ruled that some of the level 3 and 4 regulations were been invalid and unconstitutional.

The government also faces a legal challenge to be heard on Tuesday at the High Court in Pretoria regarding the ban on the sale of tobacco products.

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