Close this search box.

METCON – JEM Graduation


Jewellery Excellence MasterClass Graduation

In May 2023, MetCon, in partnership with the Gauteng IDZ, introduced the Jewellery Excellence MasterClass (JEM) with the vision of equipping up-and-coming jewellers
with the technical and business skills needed to take their creativity and businesses to the next level. 

Based in the Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct in the OR Tambo Special Economic Zone, the 4 graduates spent the last year bringing their jewellery designs to life in a
state-of-the-art workshop and attended multi-disciplinary MasterClasses. MetCon further supported the initiative by outsourcing some of its manufacturing to these
jewellers to aid in the growth of their businesses.

Our continent is rich in precious minerals, culture and jeweller talent. As is the spirit of the Special Economic Zone, JEM encourages industry growth through the sharing
of information and access to expertise, resources, and support.

On the evening of the 9 th of May 2024, key industry stakeholders gathered at MetCon to celebrate the first graduates of the programme.

2024 Graduates

Ayanda Zondi

"My experience with (JEM) Jewellery MasterClass was a very useful experience, because it helped me take my skill to a professional level and know what Is expected for international jewellery quality. It also taught me how to run my business. "

Isabel Bothma

"...the exposure to gemstone setting, jewellery manufacturing processes, and advanced finishing skills are some of the top things I witnessed here, and I believe it has elevated my skills in my career. The course was very enjoyable, I highly recommend it."

Kamogelo Phago

"The Jewellery Excellence MasterClass played a significant role in my life, both personally and professionally, learning about various metals such as Platinum and Pure Gold, opening up doors of skill improvement and immense potentiality. "

Mosiuoa Samuel Motitsoe

"...the JEM program has brought so much growth in all aspects of my life, mainly because of the positivity it has brought, new skillset and it being held in a holistic environment by a very patient and professional manager Mr. Eddie."

Speech by Grant Crosse, Managing Director at MetCon

Good evening and welcome to everyone joining us this evening as we celebrate the first group of graduates of the Jewellery Excellence MasterClass, or JEM for short.

Whilst preparing for this evening I wanted to get some information on the performance of this group. Where are you guys?

Is it possible that you guys manufactured over R22 million of product? R22 million, that’s almost R2 million a month. Do you have any fingerprints left after such work?
Eddy will be sharing some more information with us a bit later.

Everyone in this room shares the belief in the vast potential of South Africa’s jewellery industry. Sure, we have challenges to overcome, but what we do have
is a continent rich in precious minerals, and equally rich in culture, talent and creativity. The perfect ingredients for a jewellery industry to grow and thrive.

A little over a year ago, MetCon, together with the Gauteng IDZ, introduced JEM. We had a vision of equipping skilled up-and-coming jewellers with the technical and
business skills needed to take their creativity and businesses to a global level. Did I mention that the vast majority of the R22 million of goods produced were delivered to
the USA and the UK? I would certainly consider that as proof of globally recognisable talent.

Based in the SuperBlock building across the road, these graduates have been attending multi-disciplinary MasterClass training sessions with real practical
experience on commercial products. The value of combining the two elements of practice and theory; cannot be overstated. Like a diamond and engagement ring; the
two are better together. Theory must accompany practical and proven experience to build talent that can deliver.

This is what the spirit of the Special Economic Zone is all about. Sharing and growing across buildings, across businesses, across cultures; whilst offering
resources and support to benefit the greater industry. Lets do more of this. Speaking of which, the development of these superstars would not have been possible without
some key partners:

GIDZ | The Regulator | Langham Love | The Board of Trustees | Our friends from the Media | Our Programme Manager: Eddie

Tonight, the heroes are our graduates, our superstars who are ready to take on whatever path they would like in this lovely industry. I will now handover to Eddie, our
JEM programme manager to share a little more about their journeys.

Speech by Eddie Hazelhurst, JEM Programme Manager

Today, as we stand on the threshold of a new chapter in our lives, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and pride for the journey we’ve shared. Before we embark on our individual paths, I want to express our heartfelt appreciation to MetCon and GIDZ for equipping us with the tools and resources that enabled us to produce 1,390 units and over 17 kilograms of product for the global market.

I’m also incredibly proud of our fellow jewellers: Sam, Ayanda, Isabel, and Kamogelo. Each of you has brought unique talents and dedication to our craft.  Sam, I encourage you to continue using your natural talent in diamond setting to create breathtaking works of art. 

Ayanda, your attention to detail and process-driven approach have not gone unnoticed. I see in you the qualities of a great leader, and I urge you to embrace that role as you navigate your career. 

Isabel, you have some amazing projects ahead of you, approach them with the same passion and determination that has fuelled your success thus far. 

And Kamogelo, your passion towards your own brand is evident in every funky bling design you create. Keep pushing the boundaries and never stop innovating.

Part of our journey included valuable business skills programmes facilitated through Khulisane Academy. To Khulisane Academy, we extend our deepest gratitude for providing us with the knowledge and tools to navigate the business side of our industry.

As we prepare to embark on the next phase of our journey, let us remember to utilise the skills and knowledge we’ve gained here. 

Collaboration will be our greatest asset. Together, we can overcome any challenge and seize every opportunity that comes our way.

In closing, I want to say how immensely proud I am of each one of you. Your hard work and dedication have brought us to this moment, and I have no doubt that you will continue to achieve greatness in the future. Congratulations, Class of 2024!