Sailors, Apprentices, Indentured Labourers and other Migrants of Colour from at least 14 places of origin, often from the same countries from where the enslaved were taken, but also from across the world came to the Cape for a range of reasons from the 1850s and continued well into the 20th century. Even today in the 21st century economic migrants make their way to South Africa as a preferred destination. Migrancy and Southern African identity has been a major factor for 3000 years.

Sailors, Apprentices, Indentured Labourers
& other Migrants of Colour

- 14 Roots of Origin -

West Africa

Kroomen - RN Sailors
Liberated Africans aka Prize Slaves

East Africa

Sidees - RN Sailors (Zanzibar)
Liberated Africans aka Prize Slaves
Zanzibari indentured labourers


Lascar - RN Sailors
Passenger Indians
Indenture Labour


African American traders, clergy, professionals


Aborigine Soldiers – Boer War (non-return)

Caribbean Islands

Caribbean sailors, dock workers


Oromo liberated slave children


Indentured labourers
Boxer Rebellion refugees
Japanese invasion refugees
1980s-1994 economic migrants from Taiwan
Post 1994 economic migrants


Muslim religious leaders

Southern Africa (British Territories)

Indentured labours - British Africans / Bechuanaland, Basotholand, Swaziland, Northern & Southern Rhodesia / Nyasaland

Southern Africa (Mozambique and Namibia)

Masbiekers from Mozambique and elsewhere
Hill Damara & Nama from Namibia (indentured labour)

Saint Helena

Indentured labour (referred to as the 'Saints')


Economic migrants


Economic migrants


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