'I'm angry, I'm devastated' - COVID-19 forces popular Joburg salon to close down

Even though the salons have been permitted to operate under lockdown level 3, Indalo Nubian Naturals has a debt that’s well over R150,000 for rent alone and that's forced owner Smangele Sibisi to shut the Johannesburg branch.

Indalo Nubian Naturals owner, Smangele Sibisi (right). Picture: Smangele Sibisi/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Indalo Nubian Naturals, a haven for women, men and kids with natural African hair, has been sadly forced to close its doors in Joburg as a result of the crippling impact of the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa.

The salon brand had two branches, one in the City of Gold and one in Pretoria - both owned by Smangele Sibisi, who employed 29 stylists.

Indalo Nubian Naturals closed on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 with respect to lockdown regulations.

What was meant to be just three weeks turned into three months and rent costs kept piling up with no income.

This has not only left Sibisi with the decision to close the Johannesburg branch and keep the Pretoria branch, as rent was manageable, but also to return the company car as advised by debtors to stop missed payments from creating unsalvageable arrears.

“A month of not receiving your income can be understood,” said Sibisi, “but two to three months, that is a disaster. Our contract with our accountant was suspended due to non-payment, eviction of stylists where they stay followed, I was also evicted where I stayed."

Despite relief grants being announced by government, the salon has yet to receive one that it had applied for.

Even though the salons have been permitted to operate under lockdown level 3, Indalo Nubian Naturals has a debt that’s well over R150,000 for rent alone.

“I am angry, I am hurt, I am devastated. Twenty-nine families didn't have anything to survive on for almost three months, I can’t begin to understand what the entire beauty and hair industry went through without having any income."

The salon hopes that they can work to fix the business and hopefully open the Johannesburg branch again.

Sibisi has thanked clients for their messages, their contributions, their phone calls and their constant fight for the beauty industry to open.

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