Hairdressers take Zweli Mkhize to court demanding reopening of salons

A barber in Columbia decked in protective gear gives a haircut. (John Vizcaino/VIEWpress via Getty Images)
A barber in Columbia decked in protective gear gives a haircut. (John Vizcaino/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Hairdressers have taken their fight with the government to the high court, demanding the urgent reopening of their salons.

Their reason behind the court application was that they were faced with a lack of income and some are forced to rely on Good Samaritans to survive.

The application is led by advocate Carlo Viljoen who has taken on the case pro-bono

He said the case was being heard on 27 May in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.

Viljoen launched the application based on the pubic interests of all hairdressers, their clients and the nation.

Operate as normal

"I am representing taxpayers who are losing income during lockdown. The respondent is the minister of health, Zweli Mkhize. Members of the public will not be allowed inside the court building because of regulations.

"We want the industry to operate as normal under Level 4 and under safe regulations by the government. I am appearing in person and not instructed by any law firm. It is structural arguments that will take place in court. The first argument will be the urgency and we have filed a 23-page affidavit."

He said he was concerned about the life and death of people in the hairdressing industry.

"They can't feed their children. Some of the salon owners, who can't make money, have been surviving on food parcels. I have prepared a detailed report from very learned people and that in some countries salons were never closed and currently Brazil has declared hairdressers as essential services.

"Psychological impact on clients is very important. This is not about hair but overall well-being of society. I am going to rely on background from a medical professor who is currently dealing with Covid-19. Chief economist Dawie Roodt is also on board and has provided us with the economic impact on this issue."

Viljoen added he had support from "top gun" experts who worked hard and spent many hours preparing the case.

He said he was confident he was going to win the case.

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