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Diamond law moves to South Africa’s National Council of Provinces
Talks continue in upper house over Diamonds Amendment Bill and Second Bill
Dec 22 2005 12:00AM
Reference: 156  


Government-sponsored legislation overhauling South Africa’s diamond industry is to be considered by the National Council of Provinces, the upper house of the country’s parliament, after being passed by the National Assembly, the lower house.

The bills in question are labeled the Diamonds Amendment Bill and the Diamonds Second Amendment Bill. Among other things, they establish a State Diamond Trader to which diamond mining firms are obliged to offer their rough and they reform the existing Diamond Board to reduce industry domination. De Beers has indicated some satisfaction with changes in the original legislation, which it had opposed. A proposed tariff on rough diamond exports has to be considered under a separate Money Bill next year.

Juanita Terblanche, a legislator in the opposition Democratic Alliance, accused the government of attempting to nationalize diamonds through the back door and was ejected from the parliamentary chamber for repeatedly interrupting a speech by Minister of Minerals and Energy Affairs Lindiwe Hendricks on a point of order.

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