An association fighting for the recognition of the beauty industry has recently been launched.
The movement, known as Botswana Spa and Salon Association (BOSSA) was born to deal with lack of professionalism, regulation as well as poor standards in the sector.
According to its founder and president, Kitso Mokhiweni, the association was registered under the Societies Act in January 2015. Currently, said Mokhiweni, there is no recognition, mainly due to the lack of a professional image in the industry.
“The current positioning of the local hair and beauty sector is that of low quality and very low standards,” he said.
The beauty therapist added that there is a need to regulate the industry to ensure that services rendered to clients are up to the expected standard.
Furthermore, Mokhiweni said BOSSA plans to address pressing issues such as street hairdressers, as well as that of the very low rates paid to salon employees, and the conditions that those who operate on a rent-a-chair arrangement are caught in.
He said government needs to construct a proper market place where street hairdressers can be accommodated, to deal with the concerns of littering.
“We are of the view that just like the council has constructed a food market for food vendors, the same could be done with hairdressers who operate under trees and all these other places,” he said.
Low pay and non-conducive working environments are also problematic areas, according to Mokhiweni.
He said the ministry of labour and home affairs ought to include and regulate payments in the hair and beauty sector because exploitation was rife. In addition, the design an equipping of most saloons did not enable a user-friendly service provision.
“The current situation is that salons owners are licensed to run business, but the saloons are not subject to any grading or quality control measures,” he said.
BOSSA is working towards ranking these facilities in order to meet customer demands.
“You would also find that the chairs, for example, that some salons have are not salon chairs, which complicates the work of hairdressers,” he said.
The proliferation of street hairdressers came as a result of issues of exploitation at various hair salons. However, he noted that the same could not be said about pedicurists and manicurists in the streets. “Most of these people are not trained, and they end up doing below standard work,” he said.
The association has 22 members to date, most of whom are local salon owners and hairdressers.
The membership fee for salon employees is P100, while street and ‘rent-a-chair’ hairdressers, and street based beauty technicians are charged P75. In addition, there is a voluntary subscription fee of P100 for salons to cover services such as conceptualising salon interiors, legal representation as well as featuring in a specialised salon directory.
Meanwhile, BOSSA plans to host the first hair and beauty show later this year, around October.