Personal care services court case postponed as Dlamini-Zuma fails to file opposing papers

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) case against Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over the "irrational and unconstitutional" ban on personal care services has been postponed after it was due to take place on Friday, 12 June.

The case was postponed to the 22 June after Dlamini-Zuma failed to file opposing papers to the court, according to DA.

DA MP Dean Macpherson noted the order issued by the Western Cape High Court Judge, Justice Mark Sher, on postponing the matter of the ban.

Macpherson said the DA would give government an opportunity to consider reopening the sector by Wednesday, 17 June 2020, which is the same time when Cabinet would hold a meeting.

"The DA sincerely hopes that Cabinet puts the people of the industry first and end their economic suffering. If Minister Dlamini-Zuma and Cabinet does not do so, they would then be forced to provide these reasons under oath.

"There has been a steadfast refusal by Minister Dlamini-Zuma to open up the personal care industry, let alone meet her own self-imposed deadlines to do so," he said.

The MP said the court also ordered the minister to file and go on record if the government did not open the sector on Wednesday.

"There is now a clear path towards opening up the industry which includes hairdressers, beauticians, and tattoo artists. Minister Dlamini-Zuma has shown a callous disregard for the livelihoods of too many South Africans who have lost so much during this lockdown.

"The DA will ensure that the minister is held to account for her inaction and delay in assisting the personal care industry as well as ensuring the government now meets these agreed-upon timelines," he concluded.

Last week, in a legal letter by Minde Schapiro and Smith attorneys, the DA complained that the government had not provided any evidence to support its stance on the ban.

The party requested that the minister explain which Cabinet member was responsible for issuing the directions in terms of Item 7 in Table 2 of the amended disaster management regulations, which speaks to the continued ban of hairdressing, beauty treatments, make-up and nail salons, and piercing and tattoo parlours.

It also asked for timelines as to when the prohibition would be lifted, the criteria to be used by the relevant minister when lifting the ban on personal care services, as well as the criteria used when the government decided to allow for religious gatherings to resume.

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