English-speaking Indian in South Africa

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

South Africa is a mineral rich nation located at the southern tip of the African continent. The British took over the Dutch colony of South Africa in 1806. South Africa became part of the British Empire. During the British period thousands of English-speaking Indians came to South Africa as indentured servants and lower-level administrators. The descendants of those Indian peoples continue to live in South Africa today. Many now speak English as their primary and family language. English is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. South Africa became an independent country in 1909. The white citizens of South Africa imposed an apartheid system of racial segregation in 1948. Apartheid was legally ended in 1994. The Asians living in South Africa occupy a middle economic position between the population of European descent and the native African peoples.

What Are Their Lives Like?

People of Asian descent make up nearly 3% of the total South African population. For the most part they try to keep a low profile and live outside of the political spotlight. Many Indians own and work in shops, hotels and restaurants. They work as middle level managers in South African tourism and mining industries.Gold was discovered in South Africa in the 19th century. Diamonds, platinum, titanium, iron ore, coal, and manganese are also found in the country. Marriage to one spouse is the norm for Indians in South Africa. Parents encourage their children to obtain college degrees. The culture of the Indians is varied depending upon what part of India the people are from. For example, the Tamils of South India have a much different cuisine and culture than the Punjabis of northern India or the Bengalis of eastern India.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Indians living in South Africa claim to be Hindus. They serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hope of gaining protection and benefits. Hindus do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians do with their heavenly Father. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.The main yearly holidays of the Hindu people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday. Only a tiny fraction of Indians in South Africa are evangelical Christians.

What Are Their Needs?

The Hindus of South Africa must come to understand that Jesus is more than another Hindu god or guru. He alone can forgive them from their sins and give them eternal life. Higher education or material success will not bring them the peace and joy they seek.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Indian, English-speaking in South Africa.

Pray that believers in South Africa will reach out and share the good news with their Hindu neighbors. Pray that the Spirit produces a hunger for Biblical truth in the leaders of the Hindu community in South Africa. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Hindus of South Africa in this decade.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Indian, English-speaking
People Name in Country Indian, English-speaking
Natural Name English-speaking Indian
Population this Country 464,000
Population all Countries 541,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Anglicized Indian; English-speaking; Indian
People ID 12225
ROP3 Code 104017
Country South Africa
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country South Africa
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language English (464,000 speakers)
Language Code eng   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language English (464,000 speakers)
Language Code eng   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking English

Primary Language:  English

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1530-1995)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1380-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1382-2018)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in English
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Audio Recordings StoryRunners Oral Bible Stories
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video General Ministry Resources
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Good Seed Evangelistic Materials
Film / Video I Against My Brother (English)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in English
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
65.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
25.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
90.0 %
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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