Diamonds come to Katutura

 

Local player in the diamond space Reigns Investment (PTY) Ltd has teamed up with an international investment company to bring a diamond polishing company right in the heart of Katutura.

 

The fully-fledged polishing entity, DYS employs a total workforce of 91 and looks forward to employing more in the long term.

 

The company solely runs operations in neighbouring Botswana that have spanned 10 years already.

 

More employment prospects “depends on how much diamond we are getting. The more rough diamonds that we get with the right quality the more we will need to employ. Ideally, we really want to double the workforce,” said the company’s director Dr. Kuiri Tjiparangandja.

 

Factory manager… said they had gotten rid of most of their foreign workers for locals who go through intensive training and are supposed to have qualifications from as low as a grade 123 certificate.

 

Tjiparangandja said foreign experts are only roped in specialised areas although the company is set on gradually positioning locals more in those skill-intensive areas of operation.

 

However, with high-tech equipment housed in their factory, they said it would not be possible to phase out all foreign experts

 

The factory manager said much of their workforce was constituted of women “because they are able to multitask and polish better”.

 

DYS said the rationale behind bringing the factory into Katutura was because most of their workforce was stationed there, while the original factory was in Prosperita, in the fringes of the city.

 

The idea was to cut out unnecessary transport costs, the company said adding that the move to handle diamonds in Katutura brought them questions from stakeholders.

 

“We were asked if this was a wise move. But in those days we said look we are going there anyway. We hope other companies will join us because we are here for more than 10 years now,” they said.

 

Meanwhile, Reigns lost its original investor which led to retrenchments before securing a deal with DYS.

 

“We promised our retrenched workers that they would be the first to be employed when it starts operations and we honoured our promise,” as DYS official Dina Karamata. 

 

Meanwhile, the diamond sector has been Namibia’s major growth driver together with tourism as other sectors floundered and sank the economy into a drawn-out recession.

 

Revenue from the mining sector is set to jump to N$29 billion.

 

The Namibian diamond production for 2017/18 was just over 1.8 million carats and over 240 000 carats of Namdeb run-off mine were offered locally to Namib Desert Diamonds (Pty) Ltd (Namdia) and local site holders at a value of US$360 million.