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De Beers group awards Sightholder contract to Molefi Letsiki Diamonds

The contract is part De Beers Group’s strategic objective of driving transformation within the diamond sector in South Africa

De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa has announced that Molefi Letsiki Diamonds will become the first majority black owned Sightholder, effective from 1 January 2023.

Molefi is an alumnus of the De Beers Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators launched in 2016 to facilitate the growth and transformation of diamond beneficiation in South Africa. Molefi, who formed part of the first cohort of the Diamond Beneficiators Project, is a second generation diamantaire whose father worked as a diamond master cutter for over three decades.

He established his diamond and custom-made jewellery manufacturing business in 2005, and 17 years later, Molefi Letsiki Diamonds is a global diamond dealer employing 15 people in its South African operation. Molefi Letsiki Diamonds has partnered with global diamond company Dali Diamond as global distributor in the ground-breaking partnership.

Sightholder status

“I am overjoyed by the opportunity afforded to me by De Beers Group. The progression of moving from a small diamond business to achieving Sightholder status has long been an aspiration for Molefi Letsiki Diamonds. I would like to express my gratitude to the De Beers team for the support they have given me through the Enterprise Development Programme, the supply of rough diamonds, and the overall business support. I am also grateful to my business partners from Dali Diamond whose support has been instrumental to this significant milestone. This is truly a demonstration of what is achievable through collaboration,” said Molefi.

Molefi’s elevation to Sightholder status is a significant milestone not just for De Beers, but for the overall South African beneficiation diamond sector. In implementing sustainable beneficiation, De Beers is aligning its strategy to government’s imperatives of sustainable growth and employment in the downstream diamond industry in South Africa.

Beneficiation has been part of De Beers’ business model for many years, through the sale of rough diamonds to small and medium cutters and polishers, while also facilitating specialised training. The company has also established a diamond beneficiation academy in Kimberley in partnership with the Northern Cape government and the Shining Lights Awards competition, which has unrooted young and talented jewellery designers and manufacturers, some of whom have established jewellery businesses in South Africa.

Through its Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators, De Beers will continue to develop young beneficiators with the aim to appoint an increasing number of young black beneficiators as Sightholders in the future.

“On behalf of De Beers, I wish to congratulate Molefi on this momentous achievement. It was our ultimate goal when we launched the Enterprise Development Project, to have the project members become our Sightholders. To witness this happen is truly incredible and it speaks of the hard work thatwe have been doing, in partnership with government, to empower emerging cutting and polishing companies,” said Moses Madondo, Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations.

Molefi is the chairman of the South African Diamond Dealers Club, executive committee member of The World Federation of Diamond Bourses and one of the founding members of Young Diamantaires. He is also the co-founder and former president of the South African Young Diamond Beneficiators Guild which aims to achieve increased diamond beneficiation of African produced rough diamonds, and ambassador of World Diamond Council systems of warranties.

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