The Fees Must Fall protests had dire consequences for café employee Eddie at the University of Cape .
The sorry saga of a gold-rope jewellery business meant to revive the ailing economy of Virginia in the Free State will come to an end on Thursday when Aucor holds a massive liquidation auction of the loose assets of South African Royal Manufacturers (Sarm).
In its heyday, a few years ago, Sarm was tipped to boost the economy of the northern Free State. Experts believed it could go head-to-head with Italy, the world's biggest producer of jewellery.
But Sarm ran into difficulties when it couldn't keep up the payments to Harmony Gold Mine, its principal provider of gold.
The manufacturing plant's closure cost about 700 people their jobs.
Two US businessmen, Luis Perez and Valentino Diaz, pivotal entrepreneurs behind the Sarm venture, were accused of fraud, but the case was provisionally struck from the court roll.
The Independent Development Corporation, Sarm's largest shareholder, maintained that a weak rand sounded the death knell of the venture.
Sarm's cutting-edge machinery has been gathering dust, a tide of ongoing loss that Aucor will attempt to stem on Thursday.
Aucor auctioneer Chico da Silva said: "It's up to us to help the liquidators arrest this tide of loss, minimise the fall-out of bad business and maximise Sarm's potential for generating revenue."
Da Silva said interest in the auction was increasing rapidly and was resonating even in business circles overseas. Gold industry businessmen from across South Africa are expected to converge on Virginia on Thursday.
Machine manufacturers that have industry experts talking include Sisma, Italiampianti, Galloni, Filli Cavallin, Luigi dal Trozzo, Lorenzato, Leco, Ceia and Cario d Giorgi.
Sisma has been awarded recognition for maintaining the highest standard of industrial excellence for more than a decade. It has held on to its UNI EN ISO 9001-2000 grading since 1996.
"These machines are good," said Derek Lipman, a well-known goldsmith and director of Lipman & Sons.
"They are reliable and, off course, price is a major issue. The fact that they are to be sold at auction must certainly come as very good news to people in the jewellery-making industry."
Noel Duncan, another gold-rope chain expert and managing director of Golden Global and Connoisseurs International, said: "Newcomers to the industry should be elated at the news that they can buy these machines at auction."
Apart from the wide selection of related machinery, Aucor will sell several lots of assorted equipment, appliances, and furniture at the same no-reserve liquidation auction in Virginia, at 45 Civic Avenue.
For more information, visit www.aucor.com, or phone 086-128-2846.