Lebanese people in South Africa

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Lebanese people in South Africa
Total population
5,100[1] - 20,000[2]
Regions with significant populations
Johannesburg and Cape Town
Arabic (Lebanese Arabic), English, French
Christianity and Islam

Lebanese people in South Africa have a population exceeding 5,100[3] and other estimates report a total of 20,000 Lebanese in South Africa. In addition, an increasing number of Lebanese students seeking education and career opportunities opted for the country in light of its relatively reputable institutions across the Middle East. Most of the Lebanese people in South Africa live mainly in the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town.


The history of the Lebanese community goes back to the late 19th century, when the first immigrants arrived in Johannesburg, the biggest city in the Transvaal (province) coming from Sebhel, Mesyara, Becharre, Hadath El-Joube, Maghdoushe and other places. It is recorded that in 1896 the first Maronite and Lebanese immigrants arrived in Durban, Cape Town, and Mozambique, and congregated around their local Catholic churches. The majority of the Lebanese immigrants were Maronite and being concerned about keeping their Maronite faith alive in a new country, they wrote to the Maronite Patriarch, insisting on the need for a Maronite priest to come to South Africa to continue their tradition and the Maronite rite. In 1905, Patriarch Elias Peter Hoayek sent Father Emmanuel El-Fadle to South Africa from Kfarhata–Elzawye, North Lebanon. Father El-Fadle converted a building in Johannesburg into a church and residence.

In 1910, Father Ashkar arrived to build a church and a home for the priests. The Patriarch, then sent another priest to assist – Father Wakim Estphan. Fr. Ashkar returned to Lebanon and retired in 1928. The mission was then handed over to the Congregation of Maronite Lebanese Missionaries. Father Yousef Juan, who was appointed as a temporary visitor, received instruction from the Patriarch and the General Superior for Father Yousef Moubarak to succeed him in serving the South African Maronite community. The Congregation of Maronite Lebanese Missionaries have since served in South Africa among other countries and continue in their mission in serving and assisting in the Maronite rite.

Lebanese people in South Africa[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arab, Lebanese in South Africa
  2. ^ "The Struggle Of The Christian Lebanese For Land Ownership In South Africa". The Marionite Research Institute. Archived from the original on 2015-05-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Arab, Lebanese in South Africa

External links[edit]