Amina Cachalia, my mother, would have turned 90 on June 28. What would she have made of the country she so loved and devoted her life to? I went on a march last week with hundreds of small black sugar growers from KwaZulu-Natal who were protesting against the dumping of imported sugar that is affecting their livelihoods in an industry that is only beginning to transform from the days of tight white control of the British colonists. The story of sugar touches on aspects that would have been close to my mother’s heart. To quote Grethe Koen writing in City Press in 2015: "SA’s sugar history was born out of rampant colonialism, indentured labour and massive profit." The Coolie Law No 14 of 1859 enabled the colony to import Indian workers on contract. Indenture was different from slavery. Workers received food and board and a small monthly stipend in return for their labour. They would also receive crown land and citizenship after five years. They laboured from sunrise to sunset, six day...

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