About Us

We offer something for everyone and have added new categories, in addition to the typical bodybuilding categories, both male and female as well as the special categories (pictured), Master's (pictured) we also have the Ms. Physique category (pictured). The newest category, as of 2010, is the Ms. Bikini.




The Union owes its formation to the coloured and black Weightlifting athletes who were sidelined by the then apartheid government when it came to selecting teams for International competition. Grand apartheid was still in the process of establishing itself and athletes of all races still competed  together in the early 1950’s but when it came to the selection of teams  Coloured, Indian and Black competitors were sidelined in favour of White competitors who often  placed lower than third.

After the 1950 Weightlifting and Bodybuilding South African Championships athletes and administrators like R.d Naidoo, Ron Eland, Ernest Clark, Mr G. K “Chief” Rangasammy, E Lutchman, E. H. Ismael and others came together in Port Elizabeth and decided to form the South African Amateur Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation.

This led to the formation of Provincial Units and Ron Eland, Ernest Clark etc. established the Western Province Bodybuilding Union in 1951. Membership was given to Clubs who in turn registered its members with the Union. With the backing of role-players like the FARNESE Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Club, the Oakdale Bodybuilding, Silver Star Bodybuilding Club and others the Western Province Amateur Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Union grew in leaps and bounds in the Coloured and Indian Townships of Cape Town a number of athletes from the White community also joined as individuals.

Because of the pass laws only the individual athletes from the Black community who were brave enough to take the risk of arrest came aboard and the Union grew to become one of the units affiliated to  the “Federation”. The Union produced a host of top athletes who went ahead to obtain both National and International acclaim in both Bodybuilding and Weightlifting. Names like Ron Eland [Weightlifting and Bodybuilding] Mat October, Christy Liner, Johnny Geduldt, Edgar Williams, Allan Plaatjies, Tommy Minnords, David Isaacs, Pat Graham, Eddie David’s, Precious McKenzie [WEIGHTLIFTING – O.B.E] Tommy Williams and numerous others. Precious McKenzie who moved to England and received an O.B.R from the British Queen now lives in Australia. Ron Eland who migrated to Canada visited this country on a development project funded by the Canadian government. David Isaacs who competed against Arnold Schwartzenegger in the World Championships of NABBA is still active as a Bodybuilder. Before Women Bodybuilding the Union also produced a host of National Beauty Queens. The most remembered is Ms Pearl Jansen who had to enter the Miss World Championships as Miss Africa South because the apartheid regime refused that the  "Federation” enter her as Miss South Africa.

The Union also produced great administrators both provincially and nationally and names such as Mr Ron Eland, Mr Fred Japhta, Ernest Clark, Allan Plaatjies, Ernest Clarke, Edgar Williams, Abraham [Ampie] Darries, Edmund [Hell] Hellenberg, Gerald Sobotker, Tommy Williams and Pat Peters. Powerlifting was added as a code during the early 1970’s and the Union came to be known as The Western Province Weightlifting, Bodybuilding and Powerlifting Union.

As the apartheid government refused to recognize the non-White sports organizations who opposed apartheid  those organizations decided to form alternative structures for their athletes. The South African Non Racial Olympic Committee  [SANROC] was established during the late 1960's /early 1970's among its founder members were the "Federation”. The Union played  an important role in the decision of the Federation.

Founding of the South African Council on Sports [SACOS]as a co coordinating National structure for Non Racial Sport was therefore founded in 1973 as a consequence. Delegates from the Union played a major part in the founding of SACOS.

The Union Struggled from its birth with funding and  with no support from the Apartheid government.

Funding of its projects and administration was left in the hands of its executive committee, affiliated clubs fundraising functions and a few sympathetic sponsors. But it was the Executive Committee who often had to put their hands deep into their own pockets to provide the funds needed to ensure that the Union achieves its objectives.  This was done without objection and the words “for the love of the 'game'” were often fondly used to spur them on.

The formation of the National Sports Council by the South African National  government of Unity after the  unbanning of the A.N.C. and other resistance movements and the subsequent formation of the National Sports Council [N.S.C.] by the Unity government required the division of sport codes to function as individual Federations and the disbanding of SACOS. Weightlifting and powerlifting therefore became a Federation on their own and some of the Provincial Units, of which the Union was one adjusted their names accordingly. The Union became known as the Western Province Bodybuilding Union.

By this time Mr Pat Peters had  already taken over the reign as Chairman of the Western Province Union for a number of years and with his Secretary William Meyer had already started the process of strengthening the Union's membership. Expanding its base and overhauling its administration. They also improved its representivity with the seeking out of new and existing clubs and members from all race groups and before long the Union had a host of Black Clubs as well as individuals from the White race group joining. Under their administration, efforts to gain access to more and better sponsorship and funding improved and limited funding were accessed from the  Western Cape department of Sport.

It was also during this period that they, as National Officials of the Federation engaged the South African Natural Bodybuilding Association [SANBA], a white Durban based Bodybuilding Federation, to discuss unification of the two organizations. While the other Federations refused to adopt measures to curb the use of doping by athletes and disbanding their structures to establish a new National federation these two Federations met and In 1996 the Union facilitated this process in Athlone, Cape Town under the then  NSC. The two Federations were successfully unified and the term Natural was added to the Western Province Union.

When Hoosain Bester took over the reigns as Chairman of the Union he used the groundwork laid by Pat Peters to grow the Union to its full potential. William Meyer was once again elected as Secretary to become the longest serving Secretary of the Union. It was during this time that the two worked hard to increase membership, to improve the quality of competition, to improve incentives for the athletes, to affiliate the Union to the Western Province sports Council and to get funding from the Western Cape Department of Sport. All this was achieved and it was also during this period that more and more athletes from the White Community joined up.

More and more sponsors came on board and the administration of the Union was beefed up . The communication lines between the Union and the IFBB S.A [W.P] was opened once again. Under the Chairmanship of Hoosain Bester the Union began spreading its wings into Towns and Townships under its jurisdiction as well as outside its jurisdiction. Its sole purpose to make the Sport accessible to all in the Western Cape and in doing so increase membership to benefit all Units in the Province as well as the SANBA. This expansion drive also brought about a few commercial gyms and included making the sport available at School level. In 2009 the Union and the Boland Unit had the honor of hosting the first World Natural Bodybuilding Championships in Cape Town on behalf of the SANBA.

The Union and its administration took leadership  with the determination of the SANBA to unify the sport and engaged the President of the IFBB SA in an informal manner to discuss unification once again in 2008. Although this attempt ended in a stalemate once again the Union is pressurizing the SANBA to do all it can to get National recognition for the sport.

In celebrating its 60th year of existence the Union can proudly say thank you to its founders and the many administrators and athletes who gave their all to ensure the continued existence of this organization.


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