The South African province of Kwazulu-Natal will pay tribute to the Indian community's contributions to its development by building a monument in the city of Durban, where the first batch of immigrants from India had set foot.
"We are presently considering two proposals to build a monument to the Indian community," Durban Metro Council's Deputy Mayor Loganathan Naidoo said.
His statement came after it was reported that the Council, which is controlled by the ruling African National Congress, had rejected the idea of such a monument.
"I cannot understand how people can claim that the ANC has rejected a proposal to build the monument. What we objected to is that the proposal should not have been made because we are already discussing two proposals submitted by two Indian organisations. We want to see in which way we can accommodate the proposals by the Indian organizations," said Naidoo.
Naidoo said the acknowledgment of the contributions of the Indian community was not an issue but how best a monument could be built to honour the Indian community.
He said a monument would be built at a spot where the first batch of Indians had landed in Durban in 1860 after arriving in the ship SS Turo. They arrived from Madras [now Chennai], recruited to work in sugarcane plantations in the province as indentured labourers.
The Indian population over the years has grown and today there are more than 1.2-million people of Indian origin in South Africa.