In 2016 the Students’ Christian Organisation (SCO) officially turned 120 years old. The organisation was founded as the Students’ Christian Association (SCA) up until 1965 when it became divided. In 1997, two of the four divided sections of SCA merged to form a bright, new and beautiful SCO as we know it today.
In 1896, the Students Christian Association (SCA) was formed. In 1965, it was divided into four racially distinct groups by order of the Apartheid regime, these being SCA for people racially classified as “English speaking Whites”, Afrikaans Christeleke Studente Vereeniging (ACSV) for people racially classified as “Afrikaans speaking Whites”, Christeleke Studente Vereeniging (CSV) for people racially classified as “Coloureds”, whilst people racially classified as “Black” ascribed to the Students’ Christian Movement (SCM).
In 1992 talks between the various organisations took place in Stellenbosch, each acknowledging and declaring a unified stand on ministerial involvement in both schools and tertiary institutions. By 1995, talks of reconciliation between SCA and SCM were underway at the University of Transkei, this leading to a joint conference the following year at the modern day, Durban University of Technology (DUT) Indumiso campus in Pietermartizburg where the proposition of merger was first adopted.
On July 5, 1997 the Students’ Christian Organisation (SCO) was officially formed by the merger of SCA & SCM at Fort Hare University, Alice.