There are several perspectives from which the emergence of an institution such as the Hindu Association of South Africa (HINDASA) should be seen. This brief introduction to HINDASA as a South African based organisation must be viewed against at least three issues. The first is the background of the history of Hindu associations in South Africa, second, is the roles they played as an ethnic minority in a generally hostile political environment, and third, the opportunities we now have, through social media and wireless technology, to connect to other bodies with similar goals and interests. Since November 1860, when indentured labourers (almost entirely Hindu), were first brought by the British colonial government and private sugar estate owners to what was then referred to as “Natal Colony”, their humble abodes served as their shrines. As their numbers increased, they began erecting small temples on the land on which they stayed and worked. While each of these temples was certainly a version of Hinduism, they represented regional and specific ritualistic trends. Hindus were not a homogeneous community. Their diversity therefore presented a challenge to local leaders. Despite adherence to the traditions they brought from India, Hindus unfortunately showed a dearth in religious leadership. It was only after 47 years of their presence in South Africa, that is in 1907, that the arrival of the charismatic Swami Shankaranada, from Punjab, India, brought about a strong measure of cohesiveness among Hindus. Swami Shankaranandji’s presence imbued the local Hindu population with a renewed sense of belonging, manifesting as one of the early signs of a distinct Hindu identity among people of Indian origin (PIOs) in the Natal colony. He continued the missionary work of a predecessor named Shri Bhai Parmanand, inspired the formation of Hindu organisations, persuaded them to understand and appreciate their ancient Hindu traditions, revived a number of Hindu festivals that had a unifying effect on Hindus, and opened up a number of Indian vernacular schools. His first five years in South Africa laid a foundation for the unification of the Hindu organisations that he inspired into existence. Ritualism and ideologies associated with the Sanathanist, the Saivite, the Arya Samajist, the Vaishnavite, the Shakta, the Advaita, the Visisthadvaita, the Dwaita, the Mimansaka found a space for themselves under the banner of SAHMS. Their similarities and differences converged and demonstrated a sign of unity that kept the Christian missionaries at abeyance, especially from the poor working class and more marginalised Hindus. An important factor that kept alive Hindu based traditions was the fact that the four major linguistic forms of communication viz. Hindi, Tamil, Gujerati and Telegu were still prevalent as spoken vernaculars. There was a supportive idiom among many indentured Indians in their early years in Natal colony that remained inspired to keep their ancestral vernaculars and languages: “The best way to deculturalise a person is take away his/her language”. By May 1912, Swami Shankaranand convened the first Hindu conference, bringing together more than 300 people from at least 44 organisations. Agreement was reached in the conference that there was a need for an umbrella body that represented all of South Africa’s Hindu organisations, thereby giving rise to the formation of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha (SAHMS). Swami Shankaranandji was elected as the first President of SAHMS. But he chose to return to India after a year, leaving a leadership vacuum among Hindus over the next few years. Public interest in Hindu visibility and collaborative efforts returned when Mehta Jaimini, Swami Adhyanandji, Pandit Rishi Ram and other missionaries rekindled the spirit of Hinduism. There was a common understanding over most of the early period of SAHMS that the survival of vernaculars and ancient traditions served as essential vehicles for the survival of philosophical traditions. But periods of vacuums in leadership over SAHMS existence continued to occur. Despite “elected” structures over the last four decades, the SAHMS boasted affiliations of numerous organisations, but with hardly any influence over them. Since English as the spoken language of most Hindus in South Africa continued to replace the vernaculars, the rate of conversions to other religions, especially Christianity, steadily increased. For instance, up to 1960, one hundred years after the first arrival of Hindus to the Natal colony, the majority of PIOs were Hindu. By the year 2020, South African population survey reveals that Hindus have been reduced to less than 50% of the Indian population in South Africa. SAHMS record over the last few decades in trying to stem the rate of conversion is virtually absent. Conversion to other religions in South Africa is a matter of record by the South African state, but for reasons that have little to do with religion. However the conditions under which this has been occurring has led many to complain that the increasing practice of conversion was more out of commercialisation of religion rather than a genuine will to entice people to convert for altruistic reasons. Many pastors have been encouraging people to do unconventional things such as eat snakes and grass, drink petrol, spray themselves with insecticides and part with large sums of money. Consequently, the state has appointed a special Commission to enquire into the Commercialisation of Religion and the abuse of peoples beliefs systems. Section 15(1) of the South African constitution, enacted in 1998, serves to protect the Rights of all Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Groups. But the financial muscle of religious groups such as Islam with funding from Saudi Arabia, and Christian groups funded by international evangelical organisations pales the efforts of Hindu organisations into virtual insignificance. HINDASA is therefor of the belief, at this historical juncture (mid 2020), that a lot more needs to be done to reassert Hindu identity. But with the vastly different circumstances between 1912 when SAHMS was formed and presently, especially in the radical changes in technology and the threats by the generously funded missionary religions such as Christianity and Islam, Hindus in South Africa will have to work harder to save our ritualistic practices, and more importantly, our philosophical traditions. With the advent of television, wireless technology and social networking, as well as vastly improved transport systems, at least two fundamental needs arise. The first is to create a sustainable leadership in South Africa that understand the needs of the diverse groups that fall under the designation of ‘Hindu’. While Hindu diversity is often viewed as a weakness, especially among the vulnerable sections of those who belong to Sanathana Dharma, people must be made to realise that diversity is a common characteristic of all religions of the world. Hindus however have displayed formidable tenacity in accepting the right of individuals, even within families, to follow spiritual paths of their own choice. Such ancient rights are not only the basis of modern day democracy, but an enviable strength that hardly prevails in other faiths. The second is the need for wider engagement with like-minded Sanathanist groups in other parts of the world, especially in India. Wireless technology, internet facilities and air travel has made communication relatively easy, notwithstanding the costs to those who cannot afford these. HINDASA’s success is contingent upon charismatic and bold leadership that will fill the void that Hindus so desperately need in South Africa.