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Transformation of the Diamond Sector Under the Spotlight

September 3, 2019

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy

3 September 2019

The portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy has called for the South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator (SADPMR) to transform the diamond and precious metal sector.

The call follows recent meetings with the SADPMR, Mintek and State Diamond Trader during oversight visits last week.

In a statement, the committee also announced that it had “advised the regulator to capacitate its existing transformation office in order to ensure that the sector reflects the demographics of the country”.

Concern over transformation in the diamond and precious metal sector arose after SADPMR highlighted the slow pace in local beneficiation of diamond as opposed to production volumes.

“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 the committee chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo.

Meanwhile, in another statement, the committee warned of an “imminent energy crisis in South Africa, if nothing is done, as a matter of urgency, to turn things around”.

The warning followed a briefing by the Central Energy Fund (CEF) that highlighted the imminent crisis facing PetroSA with regard to indigenous feedstock depletion by 2020.

The committee called for PetroSA to become a strategic standalone oil and gas company in the interests of quicker decision-making.

The committee is concerned that five subsidiaries within the CEF each with their own boards reporting to the CEF board results in slow decision-making that is not a sustainable business practice in a competitive environment.

“The committee will convene an extremely urgent meeting within the next two weeks with the CEF to discuss further on a number of issues, including access to market, turnaround strategy, the strategic nature of some entities, legislative alignment and collaborations.”