India diaspora in South Africa eagerly wait for Modi, say visit will be fruitful for various sectors
Alpha Mehta, a diamond businesswoman who has been living in South Africa for the past 25 years, said Modi’s visit to Johannesburg will help improve the two nations’ relations.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi speaks at the BRICS Business Council meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, on November 13, 2019. (Photo by SERGIO LIMA/AFP via Getty Images)
MEMBERS of the Indian diaspora in South Africa were excited ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country for the BRICS summit which kicked off on Tuesday (22) and expressed hope that India will help the African nation in various sectors such as health and green energy.
The members were eagerly waiting for the prime minister to arrive in Johannesburg where the 15th edition of the summit kicked off and looking forward to interacting with him. Modi generally meets Indians whenever he travels abroad and also takes part in events organised by the diaspora.
Alpha Mehta, a native of Vadodara in the western Indian state of Gujarat which is also the home state of Modi, has been living in South Africa for the past 25 years and is engaged in diamond business.
Speaking to Asian News International, she said India and South Africa already share “great ties” in the mining industry and that the south Asian nation is the “biggest buyer”.
She added that Modi’s visit to Johannesburg will help improve the relations.
“India can also help South Africa in the health and green energy sectors,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.
“We are overwhelmed to welcome PM Modi,” the businesswoman said.
Vibha Sharma, who has also been living in Johannesburg for nearly three decades now, extended welcome to Modi saying they were “very happy and excited” to welcome the Indian leader in the city.
On being asked how the relations will improve further with Modi’s visit, Sharma said a lot changed when Modi went to South Africa last time.
“Not to forget, Indian companies like TATA, Mahindra, and Vedanta are already contributing to the South African community. I am sure this visit will also help further the economy of both countries,” she added.
Other members of the Indian community said that the Indian prime minister’s visit to the BRICS summit will be highly beneficial for the Indian community, adding that the event holds the potential of enhancing bilateral trade and cooperation between South Africa and India.
Srishti Sumani, CEO of Concept Digicom, a South Africa-based digital marketing company, said, “PM Modi’s visit to South Africa is going to be a highly beneficial one because there are a lot of Indian communities here in South Africa, lots of expat Indians as well.”
She said, “The Indian culture is just growing… I feel like all of his speeches and his thoughts are very futuristic and it’s going to really help the Indian community here…We are excited about PM Modi’s visit. We are going to organise a ‘rakhi’ ceremony as well for PM Modi…”
CEO of South African metals beneficiation group Alfeco Sachin Ahuja told ANI, “Prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit is going to add to all the bilateral trade, and other agreements which are going to be beneficial for both countries- South Africa and India.”
“We all welcome him… BRICS summit provides a platform for all the developing nation to boost their bilateral trade. If you look at the participant countries, they represent 60 per cent of the trade of the world. So we are quite optimistic that BRICS can provide a formidable platform for trade…,” he said.