International street artist ABOVE (Wikipedia; Flickr pool; interview from 2009) convinced diamond traders at Johannesburg's Jewel City to let him paint their exterior wall with the phrase "Diamonds Are A Woman's Best Friend" ... but he didn't mention that he would be adding "And A Man's Worst Enemy" to the adjacent wall.
"A momentous and difficult decision for the family which has been in the diamond industry for more than 100 years and part of De Beers for over 80 years" ~ Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of De Beers on the recent announcement of selling the family's interest in De Beers to Anglo American and pulling out of the diamond business. The Oppenheimers may have ruled the roost for decades, but the company began with Cecil Rhodes, the English-born politician and entrepreneur who went on to found Rhodesia, which was renamed Zimbabwe in 1979 and the Rhodes scholarship scheme to Oxford University.
DeBeers is selling 26% of its mining operations to a South African "black empowerment" holding company. The new company's shareholders include DeBeers mines' local employees and pensioners and trusts benefiting disadvantaged groups. Its chairman has been a prominent figure in the ANC and the National Union of Mineworkers. Seems pretty cool, even if DeBeers is only doing it because South Africa's Mining Charter says they have to.
South African mining giant begins providing triple coctail for HIV treatment. Something optimistic for a Friday post: AngloGold along with DeBeers is offering its employees HIV Triple cocktail treatment for free. With almost 30% of some of these companies' workforce affected with the HIV virus, is this an example of merging corporate and social interests or is this a sign of honest corporate citizenship?