A group of 200 women who have registered a small-scale mining cooperative are looking forward to making a name for themselves.
The women, who worked as illegal miners in Kimberley in Northern Cape for six years mining diamonds, were granted a permit to start small-scale mining two months ago.
One of the women Elisa Louw said their lives will change for the better as they start a new journey as legal artisan miners. The women were assisted by Michelle
Goliath, a PhD student in the department of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Free State. She helped them register the Women in Artisanal Scale Mining.
Louw, 49, a mother of three, said she became an illegal miner in 2013 after she left her job as a domestic worker.
"I'm happy that we can work freely without worrying that the police would confiscate our goods. Though we sell diamonds, we encourage women to be more independent by empowering them to do other things such as creating a ring from the diamond," she said.