The Manufacture of Jewellery describes the domestic sector, highlights current conditions, including government initiatives to promote local beneficiation, and discusses factors influencing the success of the industry. The report profiles 23 role players including the South African Mint Company (RF) (Pty) Ltd, the country’s leading coin maker, which mints legal South African tender and supplies blank coins to other countries. Also profiled are the three largest jewellery manufacturers, OroAfrica, Silplats, and NWJ Fine Jewellery (Pty) Ltd owned by Taste Holdings, which manufactures up to 45% of its products at its manufacturing facility in KwaZulu-Natal.
Manufacture of Jewellery
South Africa is recognised as the wealthiest mineral jurisdiction in the world, but only an estimated 5% of the country’s gold is beneficiated locally to coins and jewellery production. The value of the local jewellery market is estimated at R2bn with 80% of commercial jewellery being imported. Jewellery manufacturing is often combined with the wholesale or retail sale of jewellery products and the Jewellery Council, situated in Johannesburg, plays a diverse role in representing the interests of wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers.
Challenges and Opportunities
This highly regulated industry is operating in an environment characterised by challenging trading conditions, rising input costs, decreasing disposable incomes and cheaper imports. Between 2004 and 2013 the value of imports increased from R280m to more than R1bn. In the same period, the number of jewellery permit holders decreased by almost 70%, from 2,600 to 875, and employment in the manufacturing sector halved. However, opportunities do exist. Hong Kong has been identified as an important potential export market for South African jewellers because there are no duties on jewellery imports. China is also an important export market, especially as the world’s second-largest economy has an affluent growing middle class with an appetite for jewellery.