The Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) formed African industrial unions, some of which were parallels of registered unions. These unions were involved in several strikes prior to the Depression. The Depression and the curtailment of the movement and civil rights of Africans led to their premature demise of these unions.
In 1930, the non-racial South African Trades & Labour Council (TLC) was established. At its first conference, it called for the amendment of the Industrial Conciliation Act (ICA) to allow for recognition of African trade unions.
In 1947, the Coordinating Council of South African Trade Unions was formed. The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) was formed in 1950, with a mixed membership but was opposed to involving Africans in the bargaining process.