About DAG

Development Action Group (DAG) is a non-profit organisation working throughout South Africa to address underlying causes of poverty and inequality in urban areas. We have over 30 years of experience in working with community based organisations to unlock opportunities to access basic services, land, tenure rights and affordable housing.

Our programmes and projects are implemented through partnership based approach. To date we have successfully delivered 7,323 new homes for the urban poor resulting in improved tenure security for more than 27,000 people. We have also worked on over 80 projects benefiting more than 100,000 households across Cape Metropolitan area.

We place special focus on providing direct assistance to communities grappling with issues related to access to land, infrastructure, housing and basic community services. Over the last ten years, DAG has been instrumental in building the capacity of over 2,000 civic leaders and small scale contractors with a focus on empowering women and youth.



DAG advocates for inclusive, sustainable and integrated neighbourhoods through collaborative participatory research, policy advocacy and joint lobbying. DAG partners with a wide range of local and international partners.



DAG strengthens civil society to co-design and demonstrate local neighbourhood development planning through socio technical support, active citizen training and contractor training support…



DAG demonstrates innovative public and private housing delivery and informal settlement upgrading in partnership with local citizens, contractors and the state…



DAG actively facilitates local forums and platforms for civilcsociety organisations and leaderscfrom across Cape Town to connect, learn and lobby around inclusive, sustainable and integrated neighbourhoods…


Building Trust

A consistent theme running throughout all of DAG’s work – past and present – remains the importance it places on building and maintaining partnerships with a range of key stakeholders. During its existence…

Latest News

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2 months ago

Gatesville community speaking of community gardens and reinvesting into their communities.

2 months ago
Photos from Development Action Group's post

Communities speaking on issues relating to land restitution, structural violence and positive changes through community organizing.

3 months ago
South African SDI Alliance

Leaders from ISN and FEDUP in the Western Cape, are participating in a training programme organised by Development Action Group. The training is made of four module programmes run over weekends on ... See more

3 months ago
Photos from Development Action Group's post

Will you budget submissions to the City of Cape Town 2018/2019 make an impact?


12th April 2018 | 8:59 am

Private affordable rental housing: 24th April 1400-1700, Lookout Hill Khayelitsha

27th July 2017 | 9:17 am

31 March 2018

Our dynamic formal, action-oriented learning programme; the Active Citizens Training Programme, is designed to meet the leadership needs of a wide range of civil society stakeholders and community leaders.  The 4 module course is facilitated through action learning and participatory approaches that will build alliances, capacity and confidence of community leaders, activists and change agents.


16th August 2018 | 3:22 pm

Celebrating Women Making Her-Story in Community Development

Women around the world are often relegated to the side-lines and excluded from having a say in decisions that affect them and their communities. Nevertheless, women all over South Africa continue to defy the odds by standing up for what they believe in and making huge impacts in their communities.

13th August 2018 | 2:52 pm

Re-imagining Urban Housing through Participatory Design

The Development Action Group (DAG) and Architecture Sans Frontières – UK (ASF-UK) jointly recently hosted an illuminating Change by Design Workshop entitled “Re-imagining Urban Housing through Participatory Design” in Cape Town. The two-week programme gave participants the opportunity to work closely with local/ backyard contractors while learning about the various challenges and limitations facing the small-scale developers working with DAG, who are in the affordable housing/ backyard formalisation growing in the poor communities of Cape Town. This linked closely with DAG’s programme area to establish a Contractor Training and Developer Academy (CTDA) that focuses on the much-ignored sector of small-scale rental and backyard formalisation.

Getting Involved

Development Action Group (DAG) is a leading non-profit organisation, playing a vital role in tackling South Africa’s urban development challenges and re-imagining human settlements. You can get involved by:


DAG’s work is supported by national and international institutions, trusts and foundations. We also welcome donations from the general public and corporates to help us to continue our work to create sustainable human settlements for poor and marginalised citizens in South Africa’s unequal and divided cities.


DAG has a dynamic team of professionals in the urban sector. In order to develop capacity in the sector we often recruit local and international development professionals to work as volunteers on our programmes and projects.


DAG believes that research is a fundamental part of development. Hence, we often support students involved with research initiatives in the field of our work. This is dependent on the nature of research, the available capacity at the time, and the critical question being explored. Email all enquiries to: dag@dag.org.za or for call 021 448 7886.