Why diamond mining matters

The diamond mining industry has played a significant role in the historical and industrial development of South Africa and continues to play an important role today, not only on a macro-economic level but on local and community levels too.

  • The diamond mining industry currently employs 18,227 people

  • In 2017 the industry paid its employees some R5.2 billion in salaries and wages

  • Employment is provided for workers from rural communities which in turn results in the transfer of funds back to these areas

  • In 2017, taxes and royalties paid amounted to R0.3 billion

  • Diamonds produced in 2017 reached 9.9Mct

  • Total sales in 2017 stood at R16.4 billion

  • Some 55% of diamonds were exported. Diamond export earnings have a positive impact on the balance of payments, foreign reserves, monetary policy and on the level of business activity in the country

  • Diamonds are used in other South African industries including jewellery making, and cutting and grinding tools such as diamondtipped drill bits and saws




  • Diamond mining has a role to play in the development of human resources (training) and infrastructure such as schools, clinics, roads and housing




  • The industry creates employment in other industries, such as cutting and polishing


  • The industry purchases goods and services, electricity for example, which stimulates industrial production and the provision of services

  • Diamond mining attracts foreign capital into the country via direct investment

  • Dividends are paid to shareholders in South Africa