Vaal salons limping out of lockdown

Tankiso Francina of Royal Divas Studio, picking up from where she left on 24 March

There is very little to celebrate for small scale salons operating in Vaal. The salons which opened doors for business on 22 June after closing down on 24 March were confronted with rental and salary bills. AS if that is not enough, even their clientele base has been wiped out by Covid 19 lockdown.

Vaal Observer visited a Hair Salon owner, Tankiso Francina in Vanderbijlpark to hear her story after emerging from a destabilising three months lockdown. Francina Owner of Royal Divas Studio sang a painful tune.

The lockdown took its toll on both her business and family. She and her family had to relocate to the Township as they could not afford flat rentals of R4800

The visibly determined Francina said she found a R22 000 rental bill waiting for her when she started on Monday. Salons started operating on Monday after the Minister of Small business, Khumbuzo Ntshavheni gave them a go ahead to operate but under strict conditions.

“What I went through was so bad and as it is I don’t have money to pay rent and salaries for my four workers. And my clients are also gone. Since we opened on Monday we only had one client,” said Francina.

The young business mother said she expected business to pick up at the end of the month.

She intends to introduce a number of specials for her clients to accommodate their depleted pockets.

“Our hair styles which include short hair styles, braids and weaves are on special,” said Francina who used to make R8 000 a week before lockdown.

She also expressed her heartfelt concern for her workers who painfully went through the lockdown without any income adding that even her husband’s salary was cut by 40% during the pandemic freeze period.

Francina also took a swipe at the government for paying lip service to the welfare of small business community.

“Small business communities who are the most vulnerable were not even considered. We did not get any help. We only see government ministers on TV promising what never transpired,” said Francina.

She said most of the relief packages which the government introduced were accompanied by restrictive pre-conditions which made it impossible for the small businesses to access them.

Francina is currently busy sorting out her business tax issues with SARS with the view to register all her employees with Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

“If such a pandemic is to hit us again this time it will find my workers covered,” said Francina.

Beauty enthusiasts wishing to have their hair done at a discounted price can contact Francina on 0730144171. Her salon is operating along DF Malan in Vanderbijlpark next to the taxi rank.

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