The first Indian indentured labourers arrive in Durban harbour aboard the Truro in 1860.

Durban - The Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre at the University of KwaZulu Natal's Westville Campus will host an open day next Saturday, (November 25) where people wishing to trace their indenture origins can consult staff.  

The public is also invited to view other items in University's collection including documents on the South African freedom struggle.

The university’s head of special collections, Dr Praversh Sukram, said: “This year marks the centenary of the end of British labour policy of indenture. There has been considerable interest among people wanting to study the ship records to find out where their forebears originate in India. Since on weekdays it may be difficult to access the centre, we have decided to open on a Saturday from 10am to 2pm.”

People wishing to consult the ship records should bring copies of their parents' or grandparents' unabridged birth certificates that list indenture numbers. Those numbers are also listed on documents marked "Pass to Indians". "Without reference to such documents, accessing the correct details on the ship records may prove difficult," he said.

The Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre is in the basement of the university library opposite the main hall and diagonally opposite the Senate Chamber. For further enquiries call Thiru Munsamy or Siya Narie on 031 260 7350/1.