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How Chinese people descended on South Africa in 1660s

3 August 2022 12:38 PM
Tags:
China
BRICS
South Africa
Bruce Hong
Melanie Yap

Lester Kiewit spoke to the author of Colour, Confusion and Concessions Melanie Yap, and the producer of Cape Talk, Bruce Hong, about the history of Chinese people in South Africa.

Chinese people descended on South Africa as political prisoners in the 1660s.

This is documented in the book Colour, Confusion, and Concession's .

Lester Kiewit spoke to the author of the book, Melanie Yap, and Cape Talk's producer, Bruce Hong about the subject.

Yap's book details the history of how Chinese people came to South Africa.

Today, China and South Africa enjoy bilateral relations under BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - nations comprising major emerging economies.

Hong said that his mother migrated to South Africa after harsh living conditions in China, in the 1950s.

This was after the Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong came to power.

The Chinese have been here, pretty much shortly after Jan Van Riebeek arrived and set up the refreshment stations in the Cape Colony, that dates back in the 1660’s.

Melanie Yap, author - Colour, Confusion, and Confessions

We are looking basically at political prisoners that were sent out from Batavia, which is today, Java. This was when the Dutch-East-India company was running the refreshment stations and the Cape as a penal colony, so they were prisoners from Batavia and were exiled to Cape to serve hard labour terms.

Melanie Yap, author - Colour, Confusion, and Confessions

I am a first-generation South African, my parents arrived separately from China, and they were seeking a better life in the 1950s and that was when the communists, under Mao Zedong, were in full force there and there were famines, destitution and [people] were seeking a better life.

Bruce Hong, producer - Cape Talk

My mom and her aunt, my grandfather’s sister, came together. They first went from China down to Hong Kong as illegal immigrants, made [it] to Macau, took a ship and from there smuggled their way to Durban illegally.

Bruce Hong, producer - Cape Talk

Listen to the full interview below...




3 August 2022 12:38 PM
Tags:
China
BRICS
South Africa
Bruce Hong
Melanie Yap

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