The origins of the Chinese Associations in South Africa date back to 1902, apparently when the oldest official overseas Chinese association began.
Born out of necessity during the apartheid years, the Association has continued to provide a platform for the continued support and development of the Chinese culture in Cape Town and the greater environment. For more history on Chinese in South Africa, the book Colour, Confusions and Concessions (by Melanie Yap and Dianne Leong Man, 1996) is recommended.
Apart from support in the form of discussion groups and representing the indigent Chinese in the area, creating and sustaining a Chinese School was a key part of maintaining the Chinese language. Providing a central venue for meetings and functions is another core principle. Later, sports became a focus for the youth with basketball facilities a key factor.
Today the Association continues to cater for these needs and more recently played a central role in correcting the position of the Chinese during the apartheid years.
WPCA’s Community Centre is situated on the Liesbeek river in Observatory. The Association aims to support the Chinese community in Cape Town. A number of sporting, educational, cultural and religious activities are run by dedicated groups within WPCA. The Association also has a rich past, and owes much of its formation and present status to community members that have helped build it from the bottom-up. The Chinese Community Centre consist of a large multi-purpose hall, manor house, courtyard, parking area and lawn.