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De Beers donates former diamond sorting and sales office in Kimberley to Sol Plaatje University

24th November 2023

     

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De Beers Group today announced that it is donating the Harry Oppenheimer House (HOH) building in Kimberley to the Sol Plaatje University following the January 2023 relocation of De Beers’ Sightholder Sales business to Johannesburg from Kimberley, where it had been operating since 1974.

The donation of the HOH building is part of De Beers’ commitment to continue working with the Northern Cape government, key stakeholders and community organisations to support the socio-economic development of the Province.

De Beers has a long-standing relationship with the University, aimed at creating a clear pathway for academically minded young people in the Northern Cape. The relationship dates back to when the Province was canvassing for a university to be established in Kimberley, with De Beers providing the necessary support towards this objective. When the establishment of the University was approved by national government, De Beers and Kumba Iron Ore, part of the Anglo American Group, contributed R96 million towards the establishment of the University infrastructure. In partnership with the Anglo American Foundation, De Beers invested a further R12.1 million in 2021 to support the University’s Talent Pipeline Programme for three years.

Moses Madondo, Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations, said: “When we relocated our rough diamond sorting and valuation facility from Kimberley to Johannesburg, we made a commitment that our remaining assets would be utilised for the benefit of the city of Kimberley and the Province. The donation of Harry Oppenheimer House to Sol Plaatje University will have a long-lasting impact on the future of the Province by supporting the development of young people through education – one of De Beers’ key sustainable development priorities.”

The HOH building, valued at R54 million, played a pivotal role in the sorting and valuation of De Beers South Africa diamond production and supporting diamond beneficiation in South Africa. The 53 metre high building will be used as the main administration block and will serve as the strategic headquarters of the University. This additional administrative capacity will free up space in the University’s current headquarters, Luka Jantjie House, to develop offices for the recently launched Centre for Continuous Professional Development that is driving the University’s short course platform.

Professor Andrew M. Crouch, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Sol Plaatje University, said: “By donating this building to Sol Plaatje University, De Beers maintains its unstinting support of the University while unleashing its post-mining potential through education for the betterment of the people of Kimberley and by extension for the communities in the Northern Cape Province. Legacy gifts such as this will ensure that the University is able to provide educational and research excellence and innovation far into the future. We are proud partners of De Beers in our joint endeavours to create a better future for the youth in this region.”

As part of the Anglo American Group, De Beers’ donation of the HOH building compliments Anglo American’s handover of its iconic 45 Main Street building, in Johannesburg, to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute (Institute), a leading non-profit private education institution dedicated to empowering underprivileged youth.

The Main Street building, which formed part of Anglo American's Johannesburg CBD Campus, will allow the Institute to extend its impact, benefitting up to 3,000 youth – more than doubling the number of students it can support and driving Anglo American's ambition to play a meaningful role, along with several public and private stakeholders, in the regeneration of Johannesburg’s CBD.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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