- Early struggles, contact and conflict in the Cape Colony
- Establishment of the Cape and its impact on Khoikhoi and Dutch
- Slave Resistance
- Growth of African Nationalism and Defiance
- Increasing repression and the turn to the armed struggle
- Black Consciousness and student revolt in the Cape
- Growing social unrest: Community mobilisation, strikes and student protests in the Western Cape in the 1980s
- Conflict among civic organisations
- Formation and launch of the UDF
- Negotiations and the transition
Cape Town has a long history of the struggle against racial discrimination and social injustice. Some of the earlier struggles against injustice manifested themselves as armed conflicts, firstly against Portuguese sailors and later Dutch settlers. Various groups of people such as the Khoikhoi, San, slaves and African people further inland fought to extricate themselves from clutches of encroaching colonial domination. What precipitated these early struggles particularly of the Khoikhoi were issues such as the loss of land for grazing pastures and livestock to colonists.
Slaves brought in by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to the Cape also fought directly and indirectly to improve their material conditions. The emergence of the early elite of the oppressed groups of people precipitated the formation of unions, political organizations and protests against increasing racial segregation in Cape Town and later against apartheid. Thus, Cape Town has and continues to occupy centre stage in shaping the history of South African society.