Sizanani Charity stared in the early 1880s with the Timmal family in Tongaat, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, where an Indian indentured labourer Mr Deby Timmal arrived on the shores of the then Port Natal to serve his time as a indentured labourer on the sugar cane fields of Kwa Zulu Natal. Despite his status as indentured laboured his hard work and entrepreneuring spirit allowed him to buy farm lands form the sugar cane barons in Tongaat, Port Natal. He provided land to the Indian community of Tongaat to set up a place or worship and a school to educate the local people. This establishment stands today as a testimony of his philanthropy. The Vishwaroop Dharmashala and School continues to serve the Indian community as a place of worship, gathering and education 160 years after his arrival.
This ethos of giving continued with one of his sons (Ramjuttan Timmal) who also as a farmer provided plots of land for the locals to farm to become sustainable farmers. This ethos continued to one of his son Parmesar who sought his fortunes in the City of Durban (today eThekwini). He started work as a clerk for the international clothing brand “Cecil Hitner and Sons.” Where his love for the buying and selling of clothing began. Later to become one of the first non-white manufacturers and distributors of protective clothing in South Africa. Once again, the ethos of giving prevailed where he assisted home industries to purchase sewing machines and sub contract work to them.
Parmesars son Kamal also lived by his late fathers’ words” how could we have food on our plate when our neighbours go hungry.”
Sizanani Charity was official registered with the Department of Social Development in 2007. It is vital that we must take note that although Sizanani Charity was officially registered in 2007 it has had a rich past of social entrepreneurship that started back in the 1880s and undoubtedly will continue long into the future.