|Resistance in the
|After the violence of 1976 there
was a growing sense of impatience and indignation at the government from a
broad range of critics, international and domestic.
Government attempts to 'reform' apartheid did not impress its
increasingly militant opponents, who regarded reform as manipulative and
refused to endorse 'tokenistic' measures. Thus, when government tried to
'unify' sport the ('non-white') South African Council on Sport (SACOS) stated
that 'the children of Soweto give us a clear mandate not to cooperate in the
new sports dispensation'.
Hence talks about the possibility of uniting the South African
Cricket Association were abandoned. The SACOS stance was 'no normal sport in an
abnormal country' and their members refused to use facilities operating under
the new permit system. Their response to the government initiative was typical
of a new era of hostility.
An intense culture of resistance developed in the 1980s, with
schoolchildren especially active (more..). Campuses also became more
radical, with university students active in protests. The End Conscription
Campaign encouraged increasing numbers of whites to refuse to serve in the
armed forces, even at the risk of a six year prison sentence.
Unions actively opposed segregational labour laws, and when
members of such unions were dismissed, employees called strikes and boycotts of
company products. Workers in several of Cape Town's factories, in particular
Fatti's and Moni's pasta factory in Belville, succeeded in making small steps
towards democratic representation.
At the same time, moral and active support was given to the
anti-apartheid movement by Christian and Muslim bodies, especially the
South African Council of
Churches led by Bishop Desmond Tutu from 1978.
The activities of students, civil institutions and trade unions
in Cape Town reinforced one another and the city remained in the forefront of
the anti-apartheid struggle in the early 1980s.
The civics provided another base for resistance. In the
seventies small organisations had developed in particular neighbourhoods to
campaign for better living standards. They became known as 'civics' and fought
for local causes such as better council-house maintenance or for changes in the
due dates of electricity accounts.
The growth in the number of civics (there were 32 in Cape Town
in 1982) and their common focus on rent increases, gave them a collective
energy that was intrinsic to the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Allan Boesak. This
organisation provided powerful coordination of the various organisations
engaged in the struggle against apartheid during the 1980s.
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: