Imagining? Ethnic Identity and Indians in South Africa



The Indian population of South Africa in 1990 was estimated at 978 000, approximately 2.6 per cent of the total population of 37 532 000, which includes 28 258 000 Africans (75.3 per cent), 3 244 000 coloureds (8.6 per cent) and 5 052000 whites (13.5 per cent).1 Indians are a highly urbanized group, estimated to be around 93 per cent in 1985, compared with nearly 90 per cent whites, 77 per cent coloureds and almost 40 per cent of Africans (Central Statistical Service, Government of South Africa, 1988/89: 88). Since the residence of Indians was historically restricted to the Natal and Transvaal Provinces, over 80 per cent of Indians reside in Natal where the majority are concentrated in Durban. The remainder live in the Transvaal and the Cape Province, where the majority are concentrated in the Indian townships of Lenasia (Johannesburg), Lau-dium (Pretoria) and Rylands (Cape Town).2 Indians are fundamentally South African by nationality; by 1960, 94.52 per cent were born in South Africa (Ginwala 1985: 3).3


Ethnic Identity Political Organization Indian Worker Indian Woman Group Area 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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