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Many Indians in South Africa are descendents of migrants from colonial India (South Asia) during late 19th-century through early 20th-century.
Some citizens believed that these terms were improvements on the negatively defined identity of "Non-White", which was their previous status.
These immigrant Indians who became traders were from varying religious backgrounds, namely Hindu and Muslims but largely from Gujarat (including Memons and Surtis), These Muslims played an important part in the establishment of Islam in the areas where they settled.
There was also a significant number of Gujarati Hindus in this group.
Indians were banned from working in the mining industry, and areas were set aside for coolie locations in various towns in the Transvaal.
Persons of colour could also not walk on sidewalks in the Transvaal.
This all contributed to the loss of identity similar to the Mozambicans and other slaves who were brought to the Cape.