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Remembrance of Indian Indentured labourers

Indian Indentured labourers

Durban, 16-Nov-2018 (UITV) - November 16, 1860 was the day on which Indian Indentured labourers arrived for the first time in South Africa. Indentured labourers were called as ‘Coolies’ (daily labourers).


South Africa was a British Natal colony during that time. Migration of labourers continued until 1911 to serve African sugar industry. Initially, Indians were recruited to work on farms and estates. Later, there was demand for workers to extend the rail line to the interior parts.


Actually there was an agreement for Indentured labourers. The length of service was to be five years, renewable for further five-year terms. They were getting very small wages during their term. Few came back to India and rest stayed there after Indentured system. So, every November month marks the anniversary of the Indian indentured labourers in South Africa. It is 158th anniversary of the indentured labourer’s arrival this year (2018). 


During British rule, Mahatma Gandhi (Father of Indian Nation) spent over two decades in South Africa, advocating equality for those discriminated against under colonial administration.
Lenny Naidu, Fatima Meer, Yusuf Dadoo, Ahmed Kathrada and few had contributed to the liberation struggle in South Africa. In various fields, Indian South Africans are playing very important roles.

British government recruited Indian labourers in exchange on the promise of a better life, but Indentured labourers faced a lot of problems to settle their positions.
Modern South African Indian community play an important role in the current ANC government, including Mac Maharaj and Pravin Gordhan.