BARBERS and hairdressers at hair salons at King Plaza in Windhoek have been left stranded after their water and electricity supply was cut off on Friday.
King Plaza is owned by Chinese businesswoman Stina Wu.
Some hairdressers yesterday marched to Wu’s office demanding answers.
The hair stylists say water and electricity supply cuts have been ongoing for the past two years, interfering with their operations.
One of the hairdressers, Verna Joseph, says they have paid their monthly rent on time, but the building’s management fails to assist when necessary.
“It’s so shameful to be seen following her [Stina] because of water and electricity. We are losing customers and we all depend on this. We have families to feed. The majority of people here are breadwinners,” she says.
“We are really affected because it’s month-end, and our landlords are expecting us to pay rent, and where we are staying we also need to pay rent.
“We do not have customers, because we do not have water and electricity,” Joseph says.
The president of the Namibian Hairdresser Association, Pujesu Namundjebo, says they are tired of being treated like children and not being informed of the situation in advance.
“It’s not good. We are a small business, but this situation is discouraging us from running our business.
“Our customers are not coming any more because of this, and if we don’t get customers, we will not have money to pay the rent,” he says. According to the City of Windhoek, the premises owes the city N$254 610, with the current amount to be paid standing at N$118 780,15.
The owner of one of the businesses, who preferred to remain anonymous, says the building’s management is dishonest and there is a lack of communication with tenants.
“They did not communicate with us, and when my employees asked about the situation they were told it was just an electrical fault and the city will attend to it.
“Later, I found out it was not true. If you are owing money, tell us how much you are owing, because we have given you money which belongs to the City of Windhoek,” she says. Lydia Ashikoto, the owner of Lavish Studio, says the management is unfair.
“When we are owing without communicating to us, the management rushes to close down our business, but in cases like this we have to live three days without water and electricity that we pay for.
“It’s unfair,” she says.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye says the city disconnects services when business are in arrears.
Stina Wu, the owner of Kings Plaza, during an engagement with the hairdressers, said the matter would be taken up and solutions would be found.
“You will have contact details for the property management and we will discuss with our shareholders to see how we can recover the damage,” she said.
She also asked that all the complaints be handed over in writing to the centre’s management so she can address them with the shareholders.