At the Jewellery Council of South Africa (JCSA), our focus is on uniting and growing the South African jewellery industry into ‘Africa’s Jewellery Trading Hub’.
We serve all facets of the industry including; its customers, jewellery manufacturers, jewellery wholesalers/watch importers, jewellery retailers, diamond companies, jewellery-related services, and mining houses, and other related industry bodies. We strive to be a world-class industry supporting body that enables the development, growth and prosperity of the local jewellery industry through initiating, implementing, informing, facilitating, supporting, and representing our members locally, across the African continent, and abroad.
The JCSA works hard to build an effective, sustainable communications infrastructure for our members, where we are able to provide comprehensive support and information services for all industry stakeholders. This enables us to be a central point of contact on all jewellery-related matters, and to facilitate the industry’s growth into a more dominant player in the world market.
Growth of the industry happens when trust and confidence is high, which is why it is important for industry representatives who are not yet members to join the JCSA and adopt its Code of Conduct.
We hold our members to the highest standards and act as mediators and arbitrators in the case of disputes between our members and their customers; members and their suppliers; and members and other members.
We continue to actively promote the industry locally and internationally, fostering co-operation between industry players, and facilitating local sales, and exports, by building consumer confidence in locally manufactured products.
Through research and discussion, we aim to provide a clear “way forward” to government in order to expedite industry and government partnerships. At the JCSA, we believe continuous education is important for growth and work to increase awareness of the benefits of technology and education in the industry.
To achieve our goals over the near, and long-term, we build capacity in the JCSA to implement and manage a greater number of initiatives.
The JCSA has hosted the annual Jewellex Africa Jewellery Trade Fair – the premier showcase event for the South African diamond, jewellery and watch industry – for more than 40 years.
Jewellex gives industry representatives the opportunity to reveal new merchandise lines, and the most exclusive and extensive product ranges of watches, clocks, fine jewellery, pearls and precious stones, jewellery packaging, machinery, accessories and services available on offer to the local and international retail and wholesale jewellery industry. The three-day event forms part of the Council’s efforts to educate and promote the interests of the industry, and it attracts exhibitors from inside South Africa, as well as from the African states and international countries.
Setting standards for the South African jewellery industry
In the late nineteenth century, the discovery of gold and diamonds sparked an interest in jewellery-making, but for many years the industry experienced heavy government regulation, so it was only in the early to mid-twentieth century, that artist-jewellers and goldsmiths began to gain prominence. It was during this period, that legacy jewellers such as Adolph, Max and Anthony Sidersky, Jack Friedman, Kurt Jobst, Margaret Richardson, and Else Wongtschowski among others, made their mark on the South African jewellery design, and manufacturing landscape.
In November 1945, the Industrial Council Act laid out the ethical code, training, and production requirements for the Jewellery and Precious Metal industry. Jewellers and apprentices needed to be competent in design, making, setting and polishing, as it related to precious metal artisanship. Voluntary industry bodies at the time included the Transvaal Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association (under the auspices of the SA Jewellery Association that was established in 1942), the Cape Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association, and the Indian Jewellers’ Association.
In 1973, the Jewellery Council of South Africa was constituted and replaced the SA Jewellers’ Association.
The JCSA included representatives from wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers, along with additional representation from mining houses, the Indian Jewellers’ Association, the Diamond Club of South Africa, the Swiss Watch Federation, the Diamond Cutters’ Association, and the University of Stellenbosch representing the education sector.
Our nine-member executive committee was tasked with setting and maintaining standards, increasing education and awareness, and liaising with government and other stakeholders in the trade. The main goal was to establish a regulation board for members and to mediate and arbitrate in cases of complaints from consumers. While the fulfilment of this mandate, caused the government to take note, it wasn’t until 1987 that the JCSA was formally recognised as a representative body by the government.
Today, the JCSA has developed from being a voluntary organisation to a non-profit company, with a duly constituted Memorandum of Incorporation Link to a pdf version of the Memorandum of Incorporation (currently available on the site) and six full-time employees.