De Beers donates building to Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley

24th November 2023 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

De Beers donates building to Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley

Harry Oppenheimer House building

Diamond producer De Beers Group will donate the Harry Oppenheimer House (HOH) building, in Kimberley, to the Sol Plaatje University following the January 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 socioeconomic development of the province, the company says in a statement.

The HOH building, valued at R54-million, played a pivotal role in the sorting and valuation of De Beers South Africa’s diamond production and supporting diamond beneficiation in South Africa, the company avers.

The 53-m-tall building will be used as the main administration block and will serve as the strategic headquarters of the university.

This additional administrative capacity is expected to 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.

De Beers highlights that it has a long-standing relationship with the university, dating 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, both part of the Anglo American Group, contributed R96-million towards the establishment of the university’s 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, the company adds.

“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 HOH 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,” says De Beers Group managed operations MD Moses Madondo.

“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,” says Sol Plaatje University vice-chancellor and principal Professor Andrew M Crouch