Although many studies have been made of indentured Indian immigration to Natal, what is unique about this study is that it focuses on the reaction of white settlers. Initially regarded as an experiment to promote reliability and availability of labour to the coastal sugar planters, within two decades Indian labour was being sought by agriculturists across the colony.
Although warned of the likelihood that once their contracts were completed, many Indians would become settlers, white colonists never treated them as social equals. Labourer or Settler unpacks the evolving hostility of white settlers and the slew of discriminatory legislation they produced, all of which the Imperial government condoned. Extensive references to newspaper sources afford rich insights into the colonial mind.