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South Africa
By: Diamond World News Service
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Apr 25 2015 3:19PM
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Reference: 11417  

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All around the globe there is a huge demand forSouth African gold and diamonds. These valuableassets have stirred the local jewellery industry worth billions of Rands. Kunjal Karaniya explores this prominent market.

South Africa has abundantminerals of first-class gold and diamonds and is tremendously worth exploring.These precious resources have been used in glorious items of jewellery which is popular throughout the globe for over hundreds of years.

 Manufacturing :
South Africa supplies approximately 16 per cent of the raw materials for jewellery in the entire globe, whereas barely contributing less than 1 per cent to the globe's jewellery market.

Nevertheless, South Africa has a deep-rooted jewellery manufacturing industry that produces a broad diversity of precious metal jewellery items. Recently, hugeendeavours have been undertaken for the growth ofjewellery manufacturing and training by the new generation of African designers, with significantcontribution from the key players namely De Beers, AngloGold along with backed by the South African Jewellery Council. Programmes like gold jewellery design competitions and investments in gold jewellery manufacturers like Oroafrica are balanced by the efforts to educate youthful African designers in jewellery manufacturing.

With few active manufacturers in the Durban/Pietermaritzburg and Bloemfontein regions, the industry is chiefly based in the Gauteng and Western Cape areas. The industry provides work for around 4,000 people and houses around 350 manufacturing units, including huge manufacturers employing more than 200 employees to minor studios specialising in high-end designer items.

 Exports:
More than 50 per cent of the jewellery manufactured locally is consumed by the homemarket;nevertheless, exports have been increasing currently. This could beattaineddue to several joint ventures involving mostly the well reputed European companies. The United States have been the major buyer of items from South Africa, one of the major reason for this is the truth that South African jewellery exports to the United States draw Generalised System of Preference (GSP) position and hence no duty is presentlywaged on jewellery shipments to the U.S.

 Retail :
In entire South Africa there are around 3,000 retail jewellery stores, of which around one third are represented by the Jewellers Association of South Africa (JASA).Even though South Africa has a huge 9K gold consumer market, yet there is in addition an extremelywell-built market for high-end, hand-crafted jewellery created from white gold, 18K yellow gold and platinum jewellery.

 Mining:
Mining in South Africa has been the keymotivatingpower behind the history and growth of Africa's most highly developed and richest economy.

• Diamond : Large scale and lucrative mining commenced with the unearthing of a diamond on the banks of the Orange River in 1867 by Erasmus Jacobs and the followingbreakthrough and utilisation of the Kimberley pipes a few years soon after.South Africa is a world leader in mining and world’s fourth largest producer of diamonds. The country is renowned for its large quantity of mineral resources, accounting for a noteworthyamount of world production and reserves, and South African mining companies are main players in the worldwide industry.Placing South Africa as one of the most important diamond producing countries in the world, by 2005, diamond mining in South Africa produced around 15 8000 000 carats (about 3. 2 tonnes). De Beers operates and controls most number of diamond mines in South Africa while other companies involved include Rio Tinto and Petra, along with smaller firms. A largevariety of materials are accessible for jewellery, there is tigers’ eye and several other semi-precious stones other than gold, platinum and diamonds.

• Gold: With South Africa’s economy erected on gold and diamond mining, the segment is asignificant foreign exchange garner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports. At present, mining in South Africa accounts for over 10 per cent of global gold production. With depths more than 3.5km, South Africa brags of some of the world’s deepest gold mines.

 The Jewellery Council of South Africa:
Seated in Johannesburg, the Council holds varied functions in demonstrating the welfare of wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. Activities are particular to the three areas namely Jewellery Council of SA direct membership (representing wholesalers), Jewellery Manufacturers Association of SA (representing manufacturers) and Jewellers Association of South Africa (representing retail jewellers). It also comprises of marketing (local and international), representation to Government, organisation of local and international trade fairs, seminars and training courses, the operation of an internationally recognised Diamond Certification Laboratory, and the diffusion of information to the industry.

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