Labourer or Settler - Colonial Natal's Indian Dilemma 1860 - 1897
by Duncan Dubois ...R190
Labourer or Settler addresses the question of how, neither by accident nor design, Natal became home
to over 50,000 Indian Immigrants during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Duncan Dubois recounts
how, from 1860, at the request of fewer than 50 sugar planters, colonial Natal embarked on a labour
dispensation which significantly transformed its character
Comments by:Tony Leon and Prof. Goolam Vahed
Sugar and Settlers by Dr Duncan Du Bois
From a wealth of archival sources, Du eruditely narrates what is arguably the seminal chronicle of the South Coast's development. He comprehensively unravels the kaleidoscope of personalities and unpacks the various interests that impact on this otherwise parochial backwater. Black Africans, white settlers, Indian labourers competed for the agrarian "playing field" that was dominated by sugar cultivation.
- Dr Scott Everett Couper -Author of Albert Luthuli: Bound by Faith
Duncan Du Bois provides a detailed and fascinating history of a hitherto much neglected part of what was the colony of Natal. Based primarily on original archival research, he traces the southward advance of the white settler frontier settler and its sugar-based economy from Isipingo to the Mzimkulu river and, without the sugar engine, to the Mtamvuna.
This study, highlights challenges faced by the settler enterprise which were not unique to that particular region, but crucial in shaping history. These included rugged geography, slow infrastructural development, insufficient investment capital and a heavy demand for labour to meet the needs of plantation agriculture. The settler economy's relations with the reliance on indigenous African people and imported Indian workers therefore constitute further dimensions of the book.
As such it is a valuable addition to the history of white settlement and its impact, both human and environmental, on southern Africa -
W.R.(Bill) Guest - Professor Emeritus Historical Studies, University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg
RACE RELATIONS PIONEER- The legacy of Joseph Baynes
Written by Duncan DuBois
Commissioned and published by the Baynesfield Trust in 2016, this 56 page booklet reveals that not all Natal’s colonial figures were indifferent to the plight of Africans and Indians.
Contact the Baynesfield Trust for firstname.lastname@example.orgTel 033 251 0044
In this age of anti-colonial sentiment. Duncan DuBois' research has unearthed evidence of colonial Natal agriculturist, Joseph Baynes' evolution as a pioneer in the liberalisation of race relations and a fearless proponent of humanitarian values.
Records demonstrate that Joseph Baynes was a formidable opponent of injustice. He did not shy away from defending the rights of those who were marginalised. As Chairman of the Indian Immigration Trust Board and as a member of the Natal Parliament, he fought for justice and fair play.
Although his extensive farming operation would not have allowed him the time, with his understanding of African affairs and his rapport with Africans, it might be said the he was the best Secretary for Native Affairs Natal ever had
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