Jo’burg Indian Experience

The Jo’burg

Indian Experience

South Africans of Indian descent are not a homogenous group of people. Within this group there are members of different religions, linguistic groups and belief systems. Despite this diversity, SA Indians often conjure up images of curries, samoosas, the call of the Adhaan, the sari …

In Johannesburg 2003, South Africans of Indian descent are very active role-players in every facet of life: economic, religious, political and social. For many, “Indian” South Africans remain a mystery. A glimpse into the history of this very diverse grouping of people is an interesting and fascinating one.

The tour will give you an insight into the SA Indian culture, the Hindu and Muslim religions, the history of the Fietas and the turmoil and destruction of both property and a bustling community caused by Apartheid oppression and forced removals. It will also showcase the influence of the young Mahatma Gandhi in the early 20th century Johannesburg.

On this day tour our expert guide, who was born and bred in the SA Indian community, will be giving you a glimpse of this fascinating community.

This tour has been developed by Traces of Africa and Geo-Expeditions and has been successfully run for a corporate client. It is suitable for groups of about 30 or more participants.

Inquiries: Geo-Expeditions, Tel/fax +27 (0)12 344 5435, e-mail [email protected]


Melrose Temple: Introduction to the Hindu faith by the Guru

Fietas (Pageview, Vrededorp): forced removals of the Apartheid era.

please click [here] to find out more about the Fietas.From 1860 onwards, Indian labourers were ‘imported’ into South Africa to work on the sugar cane field of Natal. Subsequently Indian traders began to arrive in the region and started to migrate towards the interior of the country. 

In the 1896, the area today known as the Johannesburg suburbs of Vrededorp and Pageview was designated as a ‘Malay’ location, where people from various ethnic backgrounds settled. This area became known as the Fietas and quickly turned into a bustling community of successful traders and artisans. In the early 20th century the Fietas Asian merchants turned the 14th street into a famous bazaar.

This raised the ire of white traders. In 1956 the apartheid government declared the area a ‘white’ Group Area in terms of the infamous Group Areas Act and went to evict the mostly Indian people. With police raids and bulldozers the government started to destroy this vibrant community. Only 23 families refused to budge …

Hindu Crematorium: oldest brick-built crematorium in Africa

Sultan Bahu Islamic Centre, Mayfair: Mosque and community centre

Visit mosque at Sultan Bahu Islamic Centre

Oriental Plaza: lunch

Click image to find out more about the MuseuMAfricaMuseuMAfrika, Newtown Cultural Precinct

Talk by Mr Itzkin: Gandhi’s Johannesburg

Exhibition: Tried for Treason’

Indian dance-group