Disabled Students Learn about the Diamond Dream with De Beers Group

Teenage students with disabilities have learnt about job opportunities in the diamond industry at a special career guidance exhibition hosted by De Beers Group at its headquarters in South Africa.
Jul 11, 2017 8:30 AM ET

The visit by the 14 students from the Elizabeth Conradie School in Kimberley, organised in collaboration with the Department of Education, was the idea of an employee of De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa (DBSSA), Jabulani Cindi, himself disabled.

He has completed a Diamond Sorting trainee programme with DBSSSA that has led to a short-term employment contract as a sorter. Jabulani told the students: “As a young man growing up, the future looked bleak as disability also comes with some physical limitations. I often worried if I would be able to enter the world of work with ease. However, DBSSSA changed my perspective on the opportunities available.”

The students were invited as part of DBSSSA’s wellness initiative, particularly in recognition of World Haemophilia Day last month. They were given a full day programme that offered a rare opportunity to tour the high security diamond sorting centre and gain insider knowledge about the diamond industry directly from the professionals. The tour also outlined employment opportunities available to people with disabilities.

Jabulani, who is one of DBSSA’s contractors, told his story to the pupils and explained how he suffers from haemophilia, a condition in which blood doesn't clot. He said he suffered a lot of pain and was in a wheelchair - but he would not let that stop him.

He urged the pupils to pursue their dreams, no matter what the circumstances. "I'm working at De Beers, something I thought I would never do,” he said. “Two years ago, I never thought I would be sitting here, but I am. You also can make your dreams a reality."

Mpumi Zikalala, Vice-President of DBSSSA, said she was proud to host young people as they had the opportunity to define the future of the country.

“You have the ability to take this country forward and it excites us to have young people visit us to observe what we do and possibly even consider a career at De Beers,” she said. “You are the Millennial generation and we appreciate young people because you look at life differently. You are technologically savvy and have a way of thinking that could take the company forward.”

Most of the people working at De Beers were from Kimberley and the surrounding areas, she said, adding: "The best thing we can do for the people of the Northern Cape is to secure jobs for their children and encourage them to apply for work at De Beers."

Margaret Solomon, Deputy Chief Education Specialist (Inclusive Education), thanked DBSSSA for the partnership and for introducing the students to the career opportunities available to them. She encouraged the students to produce superior results that would enable them to access the job market.

Neo Rampaleng, 19, one of the grade 12 pupils, who has cerebral palsy, said he was considering applying for a job at De Beers in the future. "I am currently doing electrical subjects and was hoping to pursue a career in electrical engineering or something along those lines, but now I have an additional option," he said.

"I am going to apply to university and I am going to fight to ensure that I do reach my goals.”

About De Beers
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers, visit www.debeersgroup.com.

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