2017 marks 157th anniversary of the arrival of the Indian indentured workers and the birth of this community in South Africa. Durban is home to the largest Indian population in South Africa. Indians in Madibeng are constantly helping elderly people by offering them food and money. The positive role that Indians played in South Africa’s reconstruction and development was an example of how immigrants could help build a country. They contribute to the multicultural
atmosphere of the municipality and many Indian rituals and traditions can still be observed today. South Africa’s culture is one of the most diverse in the world and has given rise to the term “Rainbow Nation”. Indians are playing a huge role in Madibeng by creating jobs and helping the poor. Indian culture and way of life necessitated commodities in our lives.
This is where most of the Indians are able to assist the poor because they have businesses that they operate and generate income to help the others. With SA having 11 official languages and 8 other recognised languages, the rich culture of each of these groups brings its own vibrancy to our diversity. The culture of offering and giving to the poor has been there in existence for a long time. About two decades after Indians settled in South Africa, the Wagg Commission observed that the anti-Indian sentiment was driven by white traders, farmers and workers who feared agricultural competition. In addition, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce noted a growing fear from white settlers and their demand for all Indian traders to be lawfully required to produce identity documents with a photograph on demand. Despite all this, the Indian trader prospered, much to the disappointment of the other settlers. Many
Indian traders became successful by trading with the local black population in the remote areas by selling items in small quantities and giving items on credit. Often their goods were cheaper than their counterparts. This made the other traders particular the white traders very envious
and prompted them to influence the government to pass numerous laws that would restrict the Indian trader’s right to a living and trade. However, the government failed in its attempts to destroy the Indian trader. Ties between South Africa and India was strengthened with the launch of an initiative which further boosted the economic and cultural exchanges between the
two countries. The South Africa India Business and Friendship Association (Saibfa) was established to promote economic relations and cultural exchanges between the countries. The association developed a broad platform for networking and bilateral non-governmental co-operation aimed at fostering economic prosperity in various sectors from South
Africa and India. India played a significant role in South Africa and it was critical that a networking and business association be present for Indians to have a voice, economically and in business. Nelson Mandela was a recipient of the International Gandhi Award for social, economic and political transformation, which was handed to him by the president of India. This gives Indian business professionals and leaders the opportunity to build business partnerships with their South African counterparts. As Mandela stated: ‘We are certain that the bonds of friendship and solidarity forged over the years will continue to grow.