Johannesburg: Cultural groups representing expatriate Indians and the South African Indian descendants are planning a grand reception for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to South Africa next month.
A cultural programme incorporating Indian and African dance and music is being planned for the event organised by SAWelcomesModi committee.
"This visit marks a turning point in the special relationship between South Africa and India," a statement by the SAWelcomesModi committee said, adding that it is the first time when an Indian Prime Minister will address a public gathering of this magnitude.
"South Africa's deep and revered bond with India spans five generations during which two global icons, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, gave birth to new ideals of freedom and democracy, further entrenching the shared histories of the two countries," the statement said.
"Gandhi in particular started his Satyagraha campaigns in South Africa as a leader in the struggle against oppressive colonial policies of discrimination and carried them back to India a century ago to lead that nation to freedom from the shackles of colonialism, " it said.
"Mandela acknowledged how Gandhi's thinking had influenced his own reconciliatory approach to bringing about a peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa after decades of apartheid domination," the statement added.
A website has been launched by the SAWelcomesModi committee for registering members for secure access to the venue where Modi is expected to address a grand community reception on July 8.