DA not backing down on hairdressers court wrangle
PRETORIA - The DA on Thursday said despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that personal care services such as hairdressers will be permitted to operate during the coronavirus lockdown, the party will continue to pursue its court case until the regulations for the industry are published and a firm date is given for them to reopen.
“The truth is, President Ramaphosa has buckled under the pressure of our looming court case against the continued ban and criminalisation of the industry, which is to be heard on 22 June 2020 before a full bench of the Western Cape High Court. The president knows full well (Co-operative Governance) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma would lose,” said Dean Macpherson, the DA’s spokesperson for trade, industry and competition.
“In his patronising speech, Ramaphosa made the point that it was the amount of women working in the industry that really concerned him and forced him to act. How is it possible that it took the president and his ministers nearly two months to work this out, condemning these very same women to be treated as criminals just to keep a roof over their heads?”
Macpherson said the DA would only back down from the court case when the official dates of the opening of the personal care services industry have been given.
“Due to the recent history of President Ramaphosa being overturned by Minister Dlamini Zuma on important issues like this, the DA will continue to pursue our court case until such time as the regulations for the personal care industry are published and a firm date is given for them to reopen,” said Macpherson.
“This means Minister Dlamini Zuma will still need to file her responding affidavits to the court by the end of the 18th of June 2020. We will not allow the minister to pull a fast one on South Africans again like she did with the tobacco ban.”
Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced a further easing of coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown regulations in the country, allowing the reopening of restaurants for sit-down meals, commercially licensed accommodation as well as personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services.
“When I announced that the country would be moving to alert level 3 from the 1st of June, I said that we would be giving consideration to the reopening of other sectors of the economy if the necessary safety precautions can be put in place and maintained,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address from his Union Buildings offices in Pretoria.
“Following further discussions with industry representatives on stringent prevention protocols, and after advice from scientists and consultation with premiers, Cabinet has decided to ease restrictions on certain other economic activities. These activities include restaurants for sit-down meals, accredited and licensed accommodation – with the exception of home-sharing accommodation like AirBnB – conferences and meetings for business purposes and, in line with restrictions on public gatherings, cinemas and theatres, to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people, casinos, personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services, non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others.”
Ramaphosa said contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities, with restricted use of facilities.African News Agency