South African Diamonds

A call for transformation by parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources

The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has called for the South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator (SADPMR) to transform the sector, as well as to sanction the existing transformation office to ensure these sectors reflect the demographics of the country.

The South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR), Mintek and the State Diamond Trader (STD), were visited by the portfolio committee during the week-long oversight audit in the Gauteng province.

Concerns have been raised about transformation in the diamonds and precious metals sectors after the regulator highlighted the very slow pace in growing and promoting the local beneficiation of diamonds, processes within the diamond value chain.

According to statistics, of the 881 072 ct of diamonds produced in the 2017/18 financial year, only 284 212 ct were locally beneficiated.

“Although we applaud the regulator for a clean bill of health with regard to finances, its effort to transform the sector still remains a major concern for us,” said committee chairman Sahlulele Luzipo.

At the South Africa’s national research and development organisation for mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related technology, (Mintek) this committee observed that a lack of cooperation between State-owned entities, was the major reasons Mintek was experiencing financial challenges.

Luzipo went on to further say that government departments should invest more in entities to create sustainable State capacity, grow the economy and create jobs.

The committee also advised the State Diamond Trader to revise their organogram to mainstream critical positions, such as the company secretary and legal head of department.

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