“I am very positive about the way forward for this industry,” states Paul Ekon, a growing talent and fresh voice within the recently revitalized realm of the gemstone business. To have an industry that’s been hit harder than many throughout the global downturn, they are encouraging words indeed. While all companies could be portrayed as political pawns, it’s difficult to assume yet another highly billed compared to the South African gemstone community.
What began as frontier prospecting within the 1870’s is continuing to grow right into a multi-big industry assisting to make up the economic and political backbone of numerous South African communities. Diamonds, once so concentrated and monopolized, are actually location of an infinitely more diverse network of entrepreneurs and native governments, trying, mainly in the last decade, to assist communities better take advantage of a still tightly controlled marketplace. “Although several companies still basically control a lot of the business, situations are starting to evolve socially, beyond just income – however it needs time to work. Since Sierra Leone and also the illegal trade and traffic of precious gemstones happen to be uncovered globally, there’s been a brand new feeling of social responsibility emerging within this industry.” What Ekon is talking about may be the illegal ‘blood diamond’ trade which warring guerrilla factions used to terrorize and decimate local neighborhoods for many years. But, because the Kimberley Process started to approve fair-trade diamonds in 2003, everything has been altering for that better, although a lot of in the market feel that rather more must be done.
The BEE, or even the Black Economic Empowerment initiative continues to be attempting to redress the inequality issues natural within the mining industry during the last decade. Since 2001, black representation in management positions of the profession has greater than bending, and based on Mining Weekly is near to 30%. Obviously the current recession has slowed the initiatives for ladies and blacks lower, however situations are beginning to rebound. Sandra Burmeister, Chief executive officer of Landelahni, in talking with Mining Weekly, lately recommended that “training and development should start in the graduate level” and “skills development and employment equity are generally important corporate success.”
But, lately it had been also disclosed that black possession within the mining market is still far below targets put down 5 years ago, leading some to take a position the gemstone industry, together with others may be nationalized. The total amount of economic, community and social responsibility continues to be hard to achieve, especially in this lucrative and tightly controlled sector.
Paul Ekon, getting themself setup non profit organizations to assist poor people communities of Soweto, believes more companies have to be attributed in order to their local atmosphere this sentiment seemed to be echoed by an undisclosed industry insider, commenting on the leaked document (about industry inequality) inside a recent Miningmx news piece, “Information mill needed to demonstrate their very own efforts in improving a mining community. It has brought to a lot of companies doing exactly the same things rather of pooling sources and addressing a greater diversity of community needs.”
This means that, regardless of the recession, the gemstone industry must return to the development it’s seen within the last six several weeks, and simultaneously, continue working towards its equality initiatives which started in the past. There has to be a method to positively effect on the immediate atmosphere and then prosper within this evolving industry, but like several companies, it is a balanced exercise that can take commitment from companies, to both profit and social responsibility in equal measure.