The 1948 Migrant Labour Act entrenched agreements between Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland that dated back as early as 1947. The original agreement was to included South Africa but they later withdrew from the scheme.
The Act allowed employers to withhold part of the wages due to migrant employees. The sums withheld were used to buy Wage Stamps ( also know as employment stamps) that were then affixed to workbooks. The stamps were valued at five shillings and were available at various convenient centres or Post Offices to be purchased by employers. By 1953, 23,190 a month had been issued to Nyasaland workers, and 6,708 a month to Northern Rhodesia workers.
Part of the value purchased was then remitted to the employee upon returning home, or to their families. The employee would detach a remittance sheet and either themselves or their families could present this sheet to the Native Commissioner who would pay the value of the sheet after the employee had worked four months in Southern Rhodesia.
Although popular in Southern Rhodesia & Nyasaland, the scheme was unpopular in Northern Rhodesia with both employers and workers. In 1960 the Act was duly repealed as Southern Rhodesia was in an over-supply of labour.
Lalji Kurji Ltd was owned by Indian trader, Lalji Kurji (b.1898). Lalji arrived in Blantyre, Nyasaland in 1912. He soon opened a business as a wholesale and retail merchant. He also was an importer dealing in bed sheets, pillow cases, cotton blankets, bicycle spares, sundries and general merchandise.
The British Red Cross Society formed a central branch in Nyasaland in 1936. The primary object of the society was to furnish aid to the sick and wounded in the time of war, and in addition, improve the health, prevent disease and mitigate suffering in the world.
Since its creation in 1863, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ sole objective has been to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife. It does so through its direct action around the world, as well as by encouraging the development of international humanitarian law (IHL) and promoting respect for it by governments and all weapon bearers. Its story is about the development of humanitarian action, the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Within central Africa, the first branches were established through the British Red Cross Society, a society formed in 1870.
J Abegg was established by Hans and Dora Abegg. In the beginning it was primarily involved in produce; exporting and importing beans & maize and the like. The business then developed into a hardware shop, builder’s merchant, timber, glazing and motor vehicle windscreens.