South Africa to Abolish its Diamond Board

March 30, 2001

South Africa to Abolish its Diamond Board

The South African Diamond Board will be abolished before the end of the year, the Financial Times reports. The change will take effect when the country's new minerals development bill, which seeks to change the relationship between the government and the mining industry, becomes law. According to the Financial Times, Diamond Board President Abbey Chikane says, "All its powers, assets, rights, duties and obligations shall vest in the minister of minerals and in the state."

The Diamond Board oversees the trade and valuation of diamond exports and has faced quite a bit of controversy over the last few years. Several disputes between De Beers and the board have delayed shipments of rough diamonds for weeks, and the board has been accused of illegally importing diamonds in the past. South Africa's minister of minerals says the board has suffered from poor corporate governance, the Financial Times reports.

The deadline for submission of comments or proposals regarding the minerals development bill is tomorrow. All contributions will be examined and a new draft bill will go the South Africa's Parliament by August.

- by Julia M. Duncan