|History and Background
|DAG was established in 1986 by a group of activists who came together to support communities facing forced evictions. DAG has since become a well-established urban development organisation.
|"a wealth of experience in the field"|
|Origin and Track Record|
|Development Action Group was initiated by a group of activists in response to the destruction of, and forced removals from the Crossroads informal settlement in Cape Town in 1986. This group gradually formalised into a well-established and respected non-government organisation through working with various marginalized communities in the Western Cape. Over time DAG was increasingly asked to assist communities with accessing land, housing and tenure rights, among other basic rights. A founding member of the former national Urban Sector Network (USN) in 1988, DAG continued to be involved in issues of housing, urban development and local government, working on projects located throughout the Western Cape and on advocacy issues at a national scale.
By the early 1990’s DAG’s work shifted from tenure struggles to include poor people’s rights to participate in planning and developmental processes. During this period DAG established itself as a facilitator of development processes. By the mid-1990’s DAG’s policy and research activities were well established, focused on urban and regional planning studies and involved in the National Housing Forum where new housing policy was being developed. This policy work has continued.
DAG’s work grew to include a variety of training programmes and the organisation continued to partner with communities and several housing projects and informal settlement upgrading projects were implemented in the Western Cape Province.
Through DAG’s support 5,550 new houses have been built in people-driven projects. DAG has provided direct assistance in securing land, infrastructure, housing and community services to more than 100 000 people in over 60 projects. DAG has trained 2000 people from poor and marginalised communities in various aspects of housing and more than 85 publications and other visual materials have been produced. DAG’s successful training programme has led to the training of provincial and local government officials in 8 of the country’s 9 provinces over the past 8 years.
DAG also successfully established the Kuyasa Fund, a microfinance organisation providing affordable loans to the poor for housing improvements.
|DAG's Impact Areas|
|DAG’s strategic focus on access to well-located land for poor and marginalised urban citizens and the right to the city emerges from our analysis of our work and the urban development context. Prior to working in this strategic area DAG worked in five inter-related Impact Areas. Through our engagement in projects in these five areas DAG became aware of the one persistent barrier to achieving equitable and sustainable human settlement development: access to well-located land and the way in which land is used and managed at a municipal level. DAG has adopted an urban land access programme as a means to effect redistributive justice and reverse apartheid planning in urban centres. For further information read DAG’s Approach to the Right to the City.
Similarly to DAG’s current work these Impact Areas accomplished their outcomes through critical partnerships with government, through research, advocacy and lobbying efforts, and by demonstrating good practice in projects that are implemented in partnership with communities.
Impact Areas (2005-2009)
Informal Settlement Upgrading: Advocate for the incremental upgrading of informal settlements using a sustainable and people-centred approach.
Click here to download DAG’s position paper on Informal Settlement Upgrading
Municipal-wide Planning: Advocate for participatory, long-term integrated approaches to municipal wide-planning.
Click here to download DAG’s position paper on Municipal-wide Planning
Medium Density Housing: Advocate for the development of sustainable mixed-income medium-density housing on well-located land.
Click here to download DAG’s position paper on Medium Density Housing
Value Capture: Advocate for the State’s use of value capture instruments to direct land use, regulate land prices, and correct land distribution so that housing and land is accessible to the poor.
Click here to download DAG’s position paper on Value Capture
Citizenship & Participation: Support the active participation of citizens groups in political and civic life on issues related to urban governance and poverty.
Click here to download DAG’s position paper on Citizenship & Participation
|The Kuyasa Fund|
|DAG successfully established the Kuyasa Fund to promote savings and provide micro loans to support incremental housing processes through home improvements. The Fund now exists as a separate entity to DAG.
Kuyasa challenges traditional banking thinking by adopting an innovative approach to end-user finance. The success of this approach is evident in the fund's client base:
The Fund is successfully building equity through housing and has changed the lives at least 51,900 people in families who improved their living conditions using Kuyasa loans.
For more information on the Kuyasa Fund visit http://www.thekuyasafund.co.za or contact 021 448 3144.
|Awards and Recognition|
DAG was nominated by the Department of Trade and Industry as one of South Africa’s Top 300 women empowerment companies in its sector.
DAG was selected by the Department of Trade and Industry as one of South Africa's Top 300 companies in its sector in 2004/5.
DAG's People's Housing Process (PHP) programme was selected as a best practice in the prestigious UN-HABITAT and the Dubai Municipality Best Practice Awards 2004.
The Dubai Municipality also selected The Kuyasa Fund as a Good Practice.
DAG was selected by the Department of Trade and Industry as one of South Africa's Top 300 companies in its sector in 2003/4.
DAG received a silver award from the Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust for the way in which the People's Housing Process (PHP) was implemented in Khayelitsha in the the HOSHOP, Masithembane and Sinakho Ukuzenzele projects.
The National Department of Housing listed the Masithembane PHP project as a best practice in the department's best practices handbook.
DAG's video on redeveloping hostels won a Silver Award in the Social Awareness category at the National Television and Video Association of South Africa (NTVA) 25th annual Stone Awards.