“We can no longer survive this restriction and regulations.”
This is the plea of beauty salon and gym owners who may not work for more than two months, with no prospect of relief anytime soon.
“The injustice and insanity are destroying businesses and depriving families of food on their tables,” says Magdaleen Botes, owner of several gyms in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
“It deprives people of their right to a healthier life. It is during this difficult time that people need more exercise than ever before. ”
People need hairdressers, beauty therapists, somatologists, beauticians and nail technicians, and they need clients, says Carmen Cooper van Schalkwyk on behalf of Lydia Lamont, who provides support for the skincare and hairdressing industry in South Africa.
“We are more than nail painters and massagers. We are single mothers who have to take care of our children and families. We are mothers with children with special needs who need extra care, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
“Time and time again we ask ourselves why there can be up to 12 people in a taxi, but we cannot work one-on-one. Taxis can travel several miles with some passengers wearing masks and others, but we may not work one-on-one with masks and face shields. ”
Cooper van Schalkwyk says: “Salons and spas have been disinfected and cleaned. Stickers for healthy distance were placed on floors. Thermometers have been ordered. Screens were installed and a lot of money was spent on disinfection.
“We will never be able to fight Covid-19, but we are certainly ready to try to prevent it.”
Botes says the fitness industry is in a similar position, because even though they are ready to reopen, they are not allowed.
“Initially when our president announced the restriction, we all made sacrifices and closed our doors. Two months later, at level 3, we are still not allowed to serve our people.
“We have already lost 80% of our revenue. Gyms and fitness instructors lose all their income over a 60-day period. The industry has nothing left to sacrifice. ”
Cooper van Schalkwyk says the services offered by beauty therapists and hairdressers promote a sense of self-pride.
“Clients want to feel better about themselves, and we are there to make a difference in people’s lives and change their thinking. We make a difference in the quality of life of individuals by sometimes just listening. ”
Botes says exercise is also essential for people. “Stress and depression are one of the biggest health problems facing a multitude of people. Exercise can help counteract that. Exercise also helps prevent heart disease. ”
She says many people who belong to gyms have health problems or need rehabilitation. “People who suffer from cardiovascular disease need intensive exercise, while other people have screws in their backs or legs and cannot run on a tarred road in sneakers.
“These people are on special exercise programs and special diets. We who have degrees in the treatment of these patients may not provide our services. ”
Botes says: “Our small independent gym groups can no longer survive this restriction and regulations.”