The South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) grew out of a situation where political parties and civics worked together, leading campaigns such as rent and consumer boycotts as part of the resistance to the apartheid state.
Sanco was formed in 1992 as part of the mass democratic movement under the umbrella of the United Democratic Front.
The organisation became an instrument for mass mobilisation to make the townships ungovernable.
One of the criticisms of Sanco was its open alignment with the ANC.
The situation was further compounded by the unbanning of the ANC which saw Sanco structures being called upon to build ANC branches. The focus shifted from building community structures to building party ones.
During the 1995 local government election civic leaders competed fiercely to get on to the ANC nomination list and Sanco was seen as a launch pad for their political careers.