Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation 2013/06/19
JOHANNESBURG, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese community in South Africa gathered in Johannesburg and Cape Town on Monday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Dignity (Victory) Day.
On June 18, 2008, the Chinese community in South Africa was classified as the previously disadvantaged groups in the country, but the Chinese Association of South Africa challenged the decision in courts and won the case.
The day now forms part of the Chinese calendar in South Africa, being yearly commemorated as the freedom day to the Chinese community in South Africa.
"This is the day we got recognition as the Chinese people," Patrick Chong, the chairperson of the Chinese Association of South Africa, told Xinhua.
He said,"We achieved a legacy for the future of our children, who can now apply for any profession and go to any university."
At present Chinese in South Africa have equal benefits as blacks, Indians and other previously disadvantaged groups who suffered under the apartheid regime.
The chairman said,"We were treated as second-class citizens during the apartheid era, but we are now free, we can get licenses in business to do what we could not have done under the apartheid era."
The fight for the Chinese to get recognition in South Africa lasted about ten years.
Erwin Pon, the chairperson of the Chinese Association in the Gauteng province, told Xinhua that they were celebrating the victory after suffering of the Chinese community over hundreds of years.
"The Chinese community despite their small number has contributed to the liberation of the country," said he.
"Some Chinese communities became part of the armed wing of the African National Congress during the liberation struggle in the 1940s,"said he. "We have to use what we have achieved for the betterment of all in the country," he added.
There are two legislators in the South African parliament who are Chinese, and there are many people of Chinese descent who have held political office in South Africa.
There was a video link to the same celebration in Cape Town.
According to the Chinese Association of South Africa, about 300, 000 Chinese are in Africa's biggest economy for business.
The Chinese are one of the minority groups in South Africa, enjoying the same rights like the majority citizens in the country.