oa Kronos : Journal of Cape History - Die Churches' urban planning commission: van sosio-humanistiese tot sosio-politiese agent, 1968 1990 (1,612KB

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0190



This article aims to point out the continuities and discontinuities within a single organisation, the Churches' Urban Planning Commission (CLTPC) in a regional context. The article falls within the broad framework of religio-political historiography. CUPC was a service organisation which was started in the late 1960s by a group of church ministers from various denominations in response to the effect the Group Areas Act had on the religious worshipping of oppressed communities in the Western Cape. Several external and internal factors had an influence on the thinking and activities of CUPC; its direction and strategies were often determined by socio-political trends and developments. In the early 1970s, for example, the Black Consciousness philosophy had a notable influence on the thinking within the organisation. The 1976 uprising is another historical moment which pushed the organisation in a specific direction. Another determining external factor was the organisation's almost total reliance on overseas funding. In the end this proved to be a major cause for its collapse, especially after 2 February 1990 when political organisations were unbanned in South Africa. The article also tries to show that internal factors like ideological differences and disagreements on strategies caused serious internal conflict. Since the early 1980s the organisation experienced a shift in emphasis. A definite political agenda with strong charterist sentiments became dominant within CUPC. In a sense, the organisation then became a political agent. Despite the discontinuation of CUPC there are certain continuities through projects which were inspired by the organisation. Socio-political conditions which the organisation attempted to address and improve especially in the earlier period still prevail. Concerted efforts are being made in the early 1990s to create and establish a more humane environment for people who have suffered for many years.

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