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Until the early 70s there was no organization representing the profession.

Therapists were becoming concerned that:

  • Individuals were running courses from their kitchens and garages.

  • Matters came to a head when Mrs. Christine du Raan was made aware of the fact that Beauty Salons would in future be classified as questionable massage parlours !!!

  • She lobbied all like minded therapists to formalise the profession and to institute a body that would oversee the standards of the profession.


How was SAIHBTh formed?

  • On the 5th of September 1972, Mrs Christine du Raan, from Johannesburg Technical College convened the first meeting at the Braamfontein Hotel.

  • With the support of Mr. Wally Sharps, the President of the Society of Health and Beauty Therapist of London, the South African Institute of Health and Beauty therapist (SAIHBTh) was born.

  • Just 2 days later on the 7th September 1972 the first governing body was formed.

Branches were established

  • Transvaal branch – Mrs. Elaine Brennan was elected as the Branch Chairlady.

  • The Natal branch – Chairman was Mr. J.F. Loriaux, Deputy Director of the Natal Technikon.

  • The Cape Branch under the chairmanship of Mrs. Brigitte Lebo-Jordaan.

  • One year later, Rhodesia was invited to join the organization and Mrs. Eleanor Britton of Bulawayo was elected Chairman of the committee. In 1982 the Zimbabwe branch was dissolved.

In 1977 the first SAIHBTh Employed Secretary – Jeanette Annandale, 1st April 1977-1999

SAIHBTh office grew from strength to strength

  • In 1978 - Listed in the Johannesburg directory. 

  • In 1979 - Office was established at 101 MacKay Chambers in Blairgowrie. 

  • In 1981 - Mrs. Hester Niemand was employed on a full time basis assisted by Mrs Annandale on a part time basis.

  • In 1989 – Mrs. Prue Seels was later appointed and dealt with Education Matters. 

  • Later Valarie Balt was appointed. 


  • In 1976 SAIHBTh became CIDESCO Section. This was initiated by Mrs. Christine Du Raan with assistance of Lou and Rolf Kayser of Cape Town.

  • In 1982 the SAIHBTh and CIDESCO names and emblems were registered. This was an essential steps towards safeguarding the interest of members from exploitation and misrepresentation.

  • 1998 Helene Bramwell presented with the Prestigious CIDESCO Medaillie D'Or in Athens for her commitment to the Beauty Therapy profession.


There was a split in CIDESCO which caused discord!

  • As professional file representative Mrs. Helene Bramwell was responsible for securing Section “B” education Section.

  • Later the reunification between ‘A’ and ‘B’ CIDESCO South Africa was ratified at the general Assembly during the CIDESCO World Congress in Australia 25th May 1988.


  • In 1992 Helene Bramwell was the first South African member ever to elected to serve on the CIDESCO board.

  • In her first term of office Ms Bramwell, spend 6 years on the board and was responsible for the CIDESCO PR portfolio.

  • This was when she initiated the first of many CIDESCO link publications which opening up dialogue between members.

Helene Bramwell - CIDESCO President 


  • 2000 - After a 2-year break, Helene's effective communications skills were sought.

  • Helene Bramwell was elected as CIDESCO President and went on to serve two terms in office. This was an amazing honour not only for our organization but for all of Africa.

  • Arlene Davey was a member of the CIDESCO Education Committee for many years.

  • In 2011 Sandy Roy was elected as CIDESCO PR.

SAAHSP Presidents from 1972 to current:

  • Joan Lawrence - 1972 to 1975

  • Briggitte Lebon - Jordaan 1975 to 1977

  • Christine Du Raan 1977 to 1984

  • Shirley Gelb Karon 1984 to 1987

  • Helene Bramwell 1987 to 1990

  • Isa Carstens 1990 to 1993

  • Elizabeth Tarpey 1993 to 1999

  • Philippa Crichton 1999 to 2002

  • Frances Green 2002

  • Charlene Weidner 2003 to 2005

  • Sandy Roy 2005 to 2008

  • Tracy Chambers 2008 to 2011

  • Menna Kleine 2011 to 2013·

  • Tina Schöltz 2013 to 2015

  • Menna Kleine 2015 to 2018

  • Elna Hagen 2018 to 2021

  • Ansa Bronkhorst 2021 to 2022

  • Joelette Theron 2022 Acting president November

  • Philippa Crichton 2022 to present


Congress 1973 – 2003

  • From 1973 SAIHBTh / SAAHSP hosted 2B successful congresses across the country

  • The first congress was held the La Crete Hotel, Uvongo Beach, Natal on the 7-8 September 1973 

  • The 28th Congress and final congress was held a Ceasars Palace, Gauteng 18 and 19 May 2003

  • In 2003 Mark Malone, in addition to agreed to took over SAAHSP Magazine Trade Exhibitions agreed to take over the SAAHSP congresses now called Professional Beauty.


1st CIDESCO Congress in Africa 

  • In 1995, South Africa hosted the CIDESCO congress at Sun City called ‘BEYOND THE EPIDERMIS’ in September 22 to 24.

  • This was the first CIDESCO Congress ever to be held on the African Continent.


2nd CIDESCO Congress in South Africa

In 2015 SAAHSP CIDESCO hosted the 63rd CIDESCO Congress in May 2015 called the “SKIN IS ALIVE”


Logo and Name Change 

26 years after SAIHBTh was established, times had changed and our new goal was to change the institute into a Professional Body to represent all. In 1998, SAIHBTh changed its name to: ‘The South African Association of Heath and Skincare Professionals’ (SAAHSP). 


The four flowers represented the 4 branches:

  • Transvaal 

  • Cape Province

  • Natal

  • Orange Free State


The four flowers represented the 4 committees:

  • Johannesburg

  • Cape Town 

  • Durban

  • Education Committee

Due to pressure from the Gender council SAAHSP had to change the logo.

Examples of other logos considered:


  • Legislation to register Masseurs / Masseuses

  • Hairdressers Industrial Council

  • Allen Health Professions Council of South Africa


Legislation to register Masseurs / Masseuses

  • In 1977, registration of Masseurs / Masseuses was announced this was to be a once-only opportunity for registration and after that the profession would be closed

  • With the help of the Technikons, SAIHBTh made representations and beauty therapists were eventually permitted to continue to do massages.

  • Some municipalities introduced licensing for masseuses at beauty salons, but in view of the dreadful scourge of massage parlours and the harm this had caused to the profession of beauty therapy, licensing should be accepted as a benefit and not a disadvantage.’ 


Hairdressing Industrial Council

  • One of the key issues has been the drive to differentiate the Health and Skincare Therapy Profession from the Hairdressing industry.


Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa

  • 2002 Allied Heath Professionals Council South Africa lobbied to establish a register required massage therapist, Aroma therapists and Reflexologists to register with the Council.

  • Although we had initially submitted an application to the Council for the Health and Skincare Profession to register with this Organization,

  • We soon realized that registration would adversely restrict our industry as ‘the Act’ prevents Practitioners from selling and working in a retail environments.

  • This is still an ongoing process.


Magazines and publications 1983-2003

  • In 1983 ‘Beauty buzz Magazine’ was launched. The magazine was Established by Shirley Gelb (Karon).

  • Due to our changing time, a competition was run amongst the students to come up with a new name to change the word “Beauty”. 

  • In 1992 ‘Beauty buzz Magazine’ was relaunched into full colour magazine called “Professionelle Magazine”.

  • In September 2001, Professionelle Magazine was signed over to Nadine De Freitas from Max Café for publishing of the Magazine.

  • In 2003, Mark Maloney, agreed to take over the Professionelle Magazine which was renamed “The Professional Beauty Magazine”.


Advancement towards Professionalism

  • In 1979 SAIHBTh had their first Constitutions constructed along with the Code of Ethics for the Profession.

  • In 1988 SAIHBTh SYLLABUS / rules and regulations for SAIHBTh School Recognition was prepared by Education Committee, chaired by Linda Jackson, and passed at the October Council Meeting for introduction in 1989

  • Linda Jackson was elected as the first Education Chair Position.


Education 1990-2000

  • Alison Yammin took over this position in March of 1990 and held the position for 10 years.

  • During this time 2 years syllabus which was aimed at aligning Private Providers with the Tecknikons

  • Later Alison was appointed office Administrator position, which was later filled by Karlien Murray (nee Nel)

  • In 2000 Tracy Chambers was elected as the Education Chairlady.


SAAHSP Qualification is registered



  • With the changes that took place in our new democracy this led to the formation of ETQA’S

  • About ETQA’S- accreditation as a provider of education and training. Providers of education and training must apply for accreditation with an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) .

  • What is the role of ETQA? It facilitates a seamless relationship between learner, assessor and moderators, and providers, ensuring that relevant, nationally and internationally benchmarked education is provided.

  • SAAHSP was appointed as an industry specific ETQA to ensure that institutions provide the highest level of  training and professionalism to the industry and their students. 


PAB was born

  • On the 16 August 2001 – Professional Accreditation Body (PAB) which achieved official ETQA Status.

  • SAAHSP set up this company for accreditation purposes and the first Directors of this organisation were Debbie Merdjan and Philippa Crichton

  • This is an unbelievable achievement as PAB was only 5 private companies to have been accredited by SAQA.

  • The PAB ownership was transferred to the new owners

  • The PAB ownership was transferred to the present owners and subsequently has closed down


MOU, confederation and Amalgamation

  • In 1987 a Memorandum of Agreement between: SAIHBTh and IPTI (Independent professional Therapist International) was establish.

  • In 2003 SAAHSP and SABA (South African Beauty Association) which was headed by Faroza Fakir, joined forces and SAAHSP incorporated all SABA members into their structures.

  • This Union benefited the industry as SAAHSP represented the industry at the service SETA board, and this board was controlled by the skills development and Levy Act

  • The ACT was later amended, which stated that the single Association may not represent both employer and employee

  • For this reason it became vital to restructure our organisation into 3 bodies

  • SAAHSP became the custodian of Education and Private providers 

  • Two new bodies were formed to represent both sides:

  • BHSEA (beauty Health and Skincare Employers Association) and EBBHS (Employee Body for Beauty Health and Skincare).

  • BHSEA Inauguration April 2007


SAAHSP was awarded Professional Body Status by SAQA (South African Quality Assurance Body on the 19th March 2013. 

This provides SAAHSP member with Professional registration and Designations.  SAAHSP registered and quality control the following Designations:

Nail Technologist

Beauty Technologist

Beauty Therapist


Advanced Aesthetic Therapist


SAAHSP also successfully applied to become the Quality Assurance Partner (QAP) for QCTO (Quality Council of Trades and Occupations). 

SAAHSP is now able to accredit providers wanting to offer qualification 58310 – National Diploma: Health and Skincare and will quality assure all Learning programmes linked to that qualification.


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