The origin of the southern Africa’s diamond industry
Spread the news

By Atlanta Mahanta 

International attention is drawn to the effect of diamond mining on economic growth and development – especially in Africa. This occurs in the sense of the Kimberley Process Certification System years of global expertise designed to manage and control rough diamond transactions worldwide. Four suggestions have been listed in this report. The first is the positive growth force of the diamond industry in South Africa. It provided jobs, won foreign exchange and helped build infrastructure for all. In reality, an industrially set up company has traditionally gained rents on relatively wealthy buyers in North America and Europe and imposed rents on relatively poor farmers in southern Africa. Of instance, the mining giant’s owner De Beers is not poorly imagined, however the reality that the corporation owns part of the government’s properties in Botswana and Namibia, post-apartheid South African projects like BEE and syndicated staff in all three countries gradually share the advantages of diamond mining. 

Data: Statista 2020

The second proposal is that jewellery is an important luxury in the most lucrative sectors of the market, and hence customers’ worries regarding ‘controversial diamonds.’ Ironically, this new challenge (and related ethical issues of third parties) was easily and decisively resolved by the non-competitive institutional nature of the market and the domination by one single business, De Beers. These countries were at the forefront of tackling this problem, notwithstanding the fact that South Africa had no dispute diamonds. The third point is that the secret to ‘diamonds in war’ is not diamonds as such but abuse. Trade in conflict-related diamonds is a fraction of what it was several years earlier, partly as a consequence of the Kimberley process and partly because of progress on political tension in many African nations, as well as multilateral efforts to remove the illegal trade in diamonds. Since the political struggle is a lasting aspect of human society, the issue of diamonds will never be overcome forever, however systems can be developed – and have been created – to greatly minimise the role of diamonds in fostering and funding conflicts. The fourth proposal is to improve the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which seeks to end trade in diamonds and to reinforce the accompanying Dioamond Growth Initiative, with a view to regularising artisan activity in order to integrate small diggers into the system. The fourth proposal concerns the civil society. 

Diamonds are iconic stuff, swashbuckling and adventure film. Stories are uncovering the tragedy, which is thought the Hope Diamond might have triggered, after 17 centuries when its established Indian past opened in India, to its many shareholders. The fictitious Courtney family is revealing the bigger-than-life-diamond mining exploits in Africa in various books by South African adventurer writer Wilbur Smith (including movies focused on them). Two films by James Bond, Diamonds Are Eternal and Suffer Another Day, revolve around the unfortunate usage of diamonds to build mass destruction weapons. And Hollywood’s recent Titanic blockbuster finishes with a huge blue diamond that’s rescued from falling but then tossed down into a wet grave. Those refugees who have endured after World War 2, the genocidal governments of Pol Pot in Cambodia or as Paul Simon may have named them, “diamonds in their skirts” have survived several true tales. They have survived since they sewn diamonds, the money of last resort, through their clothes seams. Diamonds were indeed all hardships, types of violence, and provocation. Any social movements have become seriously worried about ‘Conflict’ or ‘Blood’ diamonds. Ses diamonds have been secretly extracted, sometimes violently, and illicitly traded in certain African countries to support civil and insurgency wars. Conflict diamonds were also connected to numerous militant organisations’ financial operations. Although South Africa does not produce diamonds of dispute, the countries in this region1 have taken the lead in tackling the problem. The diamond industry is crucial in these countries’ economic and social growth – including the battle against HIV/AIDS – and will be awful in reaction to the ethical issues of diamonds disputes by moving consumption tastes away from diamond jewellery. 

The diamond industries of Southern Africa started with the discovery of alluvial diamonds near Hopetown in 1867 in the northern Cape. Some years later on a property, around 120 kilometres to the north, the real diamond-bearing rock was identified, in contrast to more localised alluvial diamond deposits. There proceeded a huge diamond rush, and the farm was the location of Kimberley’s diamond booming region. The first great rush in South Africa, the subsequent mineral industrial exploitation of these deposits, and a fight for who was going to dominate the diamond fields – the Orange Free State Boer Republic or the British Kingdom – was sparked by this finding. Miners and rich citizens from all over the world streamed to Kimberley. It was the first city in South Africa with electric streetlights, among other items. As the Kimberley mines utilised real diamond ores or pipes rather than alluvial diamonds more scattered, these were distinguished practically from the outset by massive industrial processes and the mobilisation of foreign resources. 

Diamond mining was so heavily influenced throughout the entire area that ‘well every black community to the South of the Zambezi River, except Venda and Cetshwayo’s Zulus, was embodied by employees, craftsmen or independent businessmen on the diamond grounds within one year’s mining opening’ (Worger 1987: 72). At first, only thin rectangular claims were granted to the miners. Deep into the diamond-bearing piping and surrounding rock, collapses in side walls contributed to investment unions that merged these several smaller claims into the l, in combination with the need for more complex structures that removed rock from claims, mills to drive it up to tiny processing units and systems that isolated diamonds from their surrounding matrice. In exchange, this prompted businessmen and mining firms to spend fresh international resources in the extension of the digging of diamonds. This early unification of Kimberley’s diamond claims resulted in the battle against labour unions headed by Barney Barnato and Cecil Rhodes, who are bigger than their own. Eventually, Rhodes and his partners earned the upper hand, bought out Barnato and founded De Beers Integrated Mines, named after the farm’s initial founders. The expertise acquired in getting mining and technological tools, mankind and resources together for sustainable diamond mining in the Kimberley region was the blueprint to exploit the gold reservoirs located a decade later at Witwatersrand. Capital rises in Europe, coercive recruiting and accommodation for African employees in near-prison terms, and job-sharing for white workers and low-pay positions for Africans have all begun in the diamond sector.

Data source: RePEc search

Subscribe to The Times Of Africa

Subscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips and valuable resources, sent out every Tuesday.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *