Civic organisation also experienced problems in organising across the racial divide. Initially the emerging civic organisation in African township and coloured areas moved towards forming a combined force of organisations, but in 1981, civic organisations in Nyanga, Langa, Gugulethu and numerous squatter settlements formed their own organisation. The formation of the Western Cape Civic Association (WCCA) was influenced by charterists veterans who leading members of the ANC campaigns in the 1950s and MK activities in the 1960s. Some of the leading members who were instrumental in the formation of WCCA were Oscar Mphetha, Christmas Tinto, Zoli Malindi and Wilson Sidina among others.

The WCCA broke away from the CAHAC and thus was dominated by Africans with permanent residence rights. In 1984 Johnson Ngxobongwana was elected as chairman of the WCCA in recognition for his role in struggle and seemingly progressive political views. The WCCA was aligned to the UDF, but in July 1985 Ngxobongwana broke ties with the UDF. In 1986 the WCCA organised a campaign against forced removals in the townships and informal settlements in Cape Town. The WCCA was instrumental in the Asiyi eKhayelitsha Campaign (we will not move to Khayelitsha).

Between May and June 1986 the vigilante known as the witdoeks demolished 7000 squatter camps in KTC and Crossroads leaving an estimated 70 000 people homeless and 100 dead. This was part of the government’s attempt to force people in KTC were being forced to move by the government to Khayelitsha. Ngxobongwana collaborated with the government in forcing people to move.  But people refused chanting Asiyi eKhayelitsha and instead demanded better housing. The slogan was turned into a song of resistance   which demonstrated people’s determination to stand up against the state. Leading figures such as Rayi Nomveli Madikwa were instrumental to the defiance campaign.

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