“From Darkness to Light” was the theme of the recent celebrations organised by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indian indentured labourers. The event took place at Docklands Hotel, a fitting location as it is on Mahatma Gandhi Road, named after the satyagraha Indian struggle hero.
Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo said he was thankful to SASA as the 1860 labourers came to South Africa to work in the very industry it represents. “Amid the human drama of the arrival and survival of the labourers, the sugar industry contributed to changing the lives and livelihoods of the labourers from mud huts and barracks, to homes and mansions.” “More than 150 years later, the South African sugar industry is one of the world’s leading cost competitive producers of high quality sugar. We salute the industry.”
Bongani Linda, Chairman of SASA, said he appreciated the hard work done by the early Indian labourers despite poor treatment. Chairman of the SA Sugar Millers’ Association, JM du Plessis, said, “The contribution of the Indian community to our industry and to our country in the past 150 years has been immeasurable. I wish you a healthy and prosperous future.”