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Motion on 157th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Indian Indentured Labourers in South Africa

The African National Congress moves without notice: That the House

1) notes that 16 November 2017, marks the 157th anniversary of the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers to South Africa;
2) also notes that this day also marks the 100th anniversary of the abolition of the indentured labour system;
3) recalls that as indentured labourers, the Indians were subjected to a soulless and binding contract between the colonial farmers and their employees who paid them a mere 10 shillings a month, plus rations of rice, for their labour;
3) also recalls that they were herded into unfinished barracks and ordered to labour on the cane fields from dawn to sunset, and forced to live in unhygienic and cramped quarters not fit for human habitation;
4) acknowledges the sacrifices and resilience of successive generations of Indians who survived and prospered against the extreme and often humiliating conditions they experienced under colonial rule;
5) also acknowledges the critical role played by the Indian community in the country's development and socio-political transformation;
6) further acknowledges that the Indian community is a crucial part of a vibrant, diverse and non-racial democracy;
7) believes that this important chapter of South African history must be promoted through various forms such as reading, formal academic research, photography, art and music; and
8) encourages more written works on promoting the Indian community as an integral part of our heritage through the erection of monuments to commemorate the arrival of Indians for generations to come.

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