Diamond mining in the economic environment of South Africa is currently sustainable. For instance diamonds provide a lot of money to the economy, which provides better living conditions for the people who live in South Africa. This is economically sustainable as people are getting to live a slightly better life due to the diamond mining. South Africa is also economically sustainable as the De Beers currently manage and own mines that produce about half the world’s annual output. They own the majority of the mines in the location of South Africa and the De Beers also controls about 80% of diamonds sales, this means that they can keep availability low and prices high. This is economically sustainable as they De Beers company can provide a lot of money for the economy buy not supplying all of the diamonds so that they diamonds are still ‘rare,’ this allows them to sell the diamonds for more money in the market, which therefore bring back more money into the South African economy. Diamond mining in South Africa is also economically sustainable as the stable economy allows for better living conditions and opportunities, such as better housing and faster development and change in technology this is good and sustainable as it provides better living conditions for the population. For example Kimberly, which has a diamond mine, was the first place in the northern hemisphere to install street lighting in the entire town. Diamond mining also led to a huge influx of prospectors moving into the town, and the population dramatically increased and the town changed. This has a positive economic impact on shop owners in the area. As if there are more people in the area then there is more people that are purchasing from their shops, and therefore more money going into the town’s economy this is economically sustainable as the money going into the town’s economy will improve areas of South Africa. Another positive economic impact comes from the men who come from other states who had to be given at least 2 weeks rest at the expense of the De Beers. This is a small economic impact as it not only helps the people but it also helps them to get better and they will work harder which will get more diamonds for the economy. I therefore think that mining in South Africa is currently economically sustainable.
But the diamond mining also has negative impacts on economic sustainability in South Africa as well. These include the labour force, which primarily comes from young men from other African States They would come for the summer and provide temporary labour. This would have a large impact on the economy in South Africa, as people would spend their wages on living necessities. But since the labour force comes from another African state some of the wages will be sent out to their families and will not be spent on the local economy around the mines. This is a negative impact on economically sustainability as if a large amount of the money would be sent off, then the town’s economy will decrease and change and some shops might have to close down, as the miners are not spending money on that particular shop. This is not economically sustainable, as the shops would be permanently closing down. Another negative impact on economically sustainability is that since the miners are not staying on the site and they are not permanent they are not a reliable source of labour as they can leave at any time and that would be a very significant impact and change because it would mean that the whole mining site would have to change and close down if a certain number of worker decided not to show up anymore. I therefore think that some aspects of mining in South Africa are not currently economically sustainable.
There is currently not much that is being done to minimise the impact of the negative aspects of the economy, as there are not many negative aspects.
Although the diamond mining industry has provided a stable and sustainable economy in South Africa, there still are many more things that they can do to further minimise the impacts in the future. For example to minimise the impact that the temporary labor force has on the economy the diamond mining industry could make contracts where if you decided to become a permanent worker you would get paid a small amount more. This is sustainable for the diamond mining industry and for the workers. Although there is not much to do to further minimise the impact of people spending money on other shops in South Africa. But I think that if the South African diamond industry can follow this idea then the impact of the diamond industry on the South African economy would be minimal and more sustainable for the future.