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South African Settlers - Chinese

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  • John Wilkinson Mandy, Jnr. b1 (1813 - 1853)
    1820 British Settler John Penny Mandy 32, Carpenter, and Leader of his Party, together with his wife Mary Ann Day 29, and 3 children, were members of Mandy's Party of 44 Settlers on the Nautilus . ...
  • James Dicks, SV/PROG (1795 - 1874)
    1820 British Settler James Dicks 23, Labourer, together with his wife Dinah Ford 21, and one year old son John Dicks , were members of Ford's Party of 42 Settlers on the Weymouth . Dinah was the el...
  • Abraham de Vyf, SV/PROG (1650 - c.1712)
    Abraham DE VYF (VEY) "was van Chinese afkoms. Sy Chinese naam was Juko/Tuko. Hy was gedoop as 'n Christen 19 Februarie 1702. Hy trou 16 April 1702 met Maria Jacobsz VAN BATAVIA. Abraham de Vyf het ...

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  • Please add the profiles of South African Chinese Progenitors - (not their entire families and descendants!) and also those of prominent, famous, influential South Africans from that part of the world. This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link.
  • If you have any queries related to these settlers please start a discussion linked to this project. (See the menu top right).
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  • Add any documents of interest using the menu at the top right of the page, and then add a link to the document in the text under the heading below. If you do not know how to do this please contact one of the other collaborators to assist you.

There is a strong argument and evidence that the Chinese Fleet of Admiral Zeng rounded the Cape in 1421.

Read more: - Who were the first settlers in Cape Town South Africa?

From 1658 slaves were imported by the Dutch East India Company. The Chinese did not see the Cape as a worthwhile risk and so used the Cape more as a penal settlement for its unwanted criminals etc. This meant that the first Chinese to arrive at the Cape were not farmers, fishermen, carpenters, masons and craftsmen which were much needed at the Cape.

There is much more of interest to read in the book (some available online) Colour, Confusion and Concessions: History of the Chinese in South Africa (Paperback)

The first Chinese convict to arrive at the Cape was probably a man called "Wancho" who was sent on the Arnhem in 1660. He was caught attacking a slave woman with a knife. He tried (Unsuccessfully) to hang himself, and was subsequently sentenced to a flogging and banished to serve out his term on Robben Island.

The first free Chinese in the Cape was Abraham de Vyf also known as 'Tuko de Chinees'. He had three children who all married and started lines of descent in South Africa.

Chinese people began arriving in large numbers in South Africa in the 1870s to work in the gold mines of the Witwatersrand, especially in Johannesburg. The Chinese community in South Africa grew steadily throughout the remainder of the 19th century, bolstered by new arrivals from China. The Anglo-Boer War pushed some Chinese South Africans out of the Witwatersrand and into areas such as Port Elizabeth and East London in the Eastern Cape.

References and Links

Notable Chinese South Africans

  • Patrick Soon-Shiong (陈颂雄), world-famous surgeon and billionaire.

Soon-Shiong was born in South Africa to Chinese immigrant parents, who fled from China during World War II. He graduated from high school at age 16 and received his medical degree at age 23 from the University of Witwatersrand, finishing fourth out of 189.

  • Chris Wang (王翊儒), member of the National Assembly, originally an MP for the ID, now a member of the ANC
  • Eugenia Chang, member of the National Assembly, for the Inkatha Freedom Party
  • Ina Lu (呂怡慧), Miss Chinese International 2006
  • Sherry Chen (陈阡蕙), Member of Parliament in South Africa, member of the Democratic Alliance
  • Shiaan-Bin Huang (黄士豪), Born 1955 Member of Parliament of South Africa, member of the African National Congress. Serves as the City Councillor for the city of Johannesburg. She has won the Gauteng Business Person of the Year Award.

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