CAPAB was instituted to promote the performing arts in the Cape Province. Operational costs for CAPAB, the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT), the Natal Performing Arts Council (NAPAC) and the Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State (PACOFS) were subsidised by the government.
In 1997 the CAPAB staged its last play, The Guise, by David Mowat. It was staged as an ode to the closing down of CAPAB and the major theme of the play was the survival of theatre.
In 2001, the new organisation named Artscape, set to replace CAPAB, was launched at Nico Malan Theatre Centre.