oa Alternation - The Myth of the 'Asiatic Menace' in Post War Natal (1918-1924)

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



At the end of the First World War Natal emerged relatively prosperous. Durban held a prominent position as a seaport, commercial and industrial centre. The population of Natal was cosmopolitan. It was made up of Indians, Africans, Coloureds and Whites. Indians were highly stratified along religious, region, caste and class lines. The three main social groupings were indentured workers, entrepreneurs from Gujarat on the west coast of India and educated Natal-born offspring of indentured workers. The mass of indentured and ex-indentured Indians were poor, uneducated and unskilled and eking out a living as unskilled workers. They were employed in agricultural work as market gardeners who sold their produce at the Indian market, did hawking, or held unskilled positions with the Durban Municipality.

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