From the book: A Documentary History of Indian South Africans edited by Surendra Bhana and Bridglal Pachai

'The whole Coolies in this Barrack' wrote to the town clerk of Durban on 6 December 1872 asking for an increase in their wages. The request was turned down.Source: Durban Corporation Records, vol. 829, Natal Archives.

We, the undersigned Coolies in the services of the Corporation, beg most respectfully to submit the undermentioned pitiful petition for the consideration of the Town Council and trusting the petition we lay for the perusal of the Council, and wishing the humble case we lay for your honours' consideration will be granted and for which act of kindness we shall humbly pity for the kindness. We labourers, working our best endeavours to render every satisfaction to the Corporation, we the undersigned Coolies have got large family and the wages that we get at present is not enough to maintain our poor distressed family and we have left all our nearest relations from India, and we came to this Colony in order to work hard, and give every satisfaction to the employers. Considering to our great regret we have left our relations from India, and we have no one to look for protection, and so we consider that your respected is our protection until we are in this Colony, and for the period of 9 years of which the Corporation is aware worked hard and tried our endeavours to render the Corporation every [satisfaction;] and the only request we submit up to the above period we have received 16 shillings of which wages is not enough to maintain ourselves [considering] that goods are selling at a extremely dear price, which does not permit us to be comfortable, of which we labour very hard [;] and considering at the same time, when it is a rainy day, or sometimes in the cold night, and when we are called at part of time to work, and we are obliged to come in our bare body, as the wages we get at present is not enough to clothe our bare body, and make our family comfortable, and we the undersigned humbly crave for an increase [in] wages, and we the undersigned ... by above petition for the Council and trusting the humble petition we lay for the consideration of the Council, for which extreme need [unclear], and we will further labour hard to render our satisfaction, and we also driven in the road to draw the cart load of stones, which we feel it very hard and also our strength is broken down, and sometimes we are so badly in want of clothes we are very afraid to go our bare body to the public road, for fear we will be taken to the station. So our extreme need is very great. The humble prayer [?] we the undersigned ... will be granted.