Three important movements challenged apartheid. The oldest was the African National Congress (ANC) which was founded in 1912. The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) broke away from the ANC in 1958 and initiated its own campaign against apartheid. Both groups were eventually banned by the South African government and forced underground where they began violent campaigns of resistance. In the late 1960s, the South African Students’ Organization (SASO) was formed. Today it is known as the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) in South Africa.
The struggle was also extended to the labour community but the struggle in this section was crippled by a lack of unity among the working class, which was polarised along racial lines. Although it was initially difficult to organise workers into a multiracial trade union, this was finally achieved in the 1950s when the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) was formed in 1955. The formation of solid trade unions was influenced by the repressive industrial laws like the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act of 1953 and Industrial Conciliation Act of 1956 passed by the government. In this period SACTU led two major strikes: the £1 a day campaign and the Amato Textile Mills strike.