Despite 25 years into democracy and billions of rands in
development, living circumstances and economic conditions for
very few households have changed. One in every three South
Africans is living in extreme poverty and poor shelter…




The teaching of activism has shrunk remarkably in South Africa.


Cape Town land markets have become increasingly over the last five years.


Limited development finance is a global constraint in addressing poverty and inequality.


Delivery of a wide range of affordable housing solutions is critical in addressing the housing and land crisis.


DAGs core work and strategies are established through its deep rooted experience with grassroots leaders, organisations and movements.


Over the last 5 years, the construction industry has experienced a decline in the implementation of new infrastructure projects due to the public sector’s underspending on capital budgets. This underspending, coupled with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused significant job losses in the construction industry and has placed significant burdens on emerging contractors as activities were halted and new occupational health and safety conditions were introduced. The construction industry has the potential
Micro-developers provide affordable rental accommodation for households which cannot afford inner-city residential property prices, those waiting for government housing and those who earn too much to benefit from a subsidy. Currently in South Africa, the innovative micro-developers and homeowners are seen as the backbone of the township economy as they play a vital role in the township economy, through job creation and spatial transformation. Over the years, DAG’s Contractor, and Developer Academy (CDA) has been
The Development Action Group (DAG), in partnership with the National Association of Social Housing Organisations (NASHO) and University of Cambridge hosted a Transitional Housing Learning Tour in Johannesburg, from the 26th to the 27th of May 2022. The Johannesburg Transitional Housing Learning tour saw 30 participants from across local and international civil society, local and provincial government coming together to critically explore Transitional Housing as an alternative for low-income earners. The learning tour provided a
“Municipalities can and must provide basic services to backyard residents who live on private land.” - Eerste River community leader. The backyard sector has been providing housing solutions to thousands of families without the necessary recognition and support from the government. Even though this sector plays an essential role in housing provision in South African cities, it is also associated with overcrowding and infrastructure challenges.  Due to inadequate support from the local government, access to basic services
Issued by  Development Action Group (DAG) 09 MAY 2022   The Development Action Group (DAG) unreservedly condemns the murder of Abahlali baseMjondolo civil society activists. We are outraged at the reported brutal murder of Nokuthula Mabaso, leader of Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League and shack dwellers movement activist in KwaZulu Natal (KZN), barely two months after the murder of another Abahlali leader, Ayanda Ngila. According to the Daily Maverick, Nokuthula was killed on her way back
Earlier this month, the South African Cities Network (SACN) released their State of Cities Report (SOCR). A report that is published every 5 years by the SACN, to provide an overall picture of the state of South African cities and their functioning. The most concerning finding from this report is that currently in South African cities one in five people live in informality and this is only projected to increase. According to the SOCR released
At a time when the government is increasingly questioning the sustainability of its housing subsidy programme, the importance of supporting and providing incentives to the rental sector in township areas has become more apparent than ever before. In the past 18 months, the City of Cape Town has developed initiatives to support and create an enabling environment for micro-developers providing affordable accommodation in township areas. This derives from recommendations that were approved by Council in
On the 3rd of March 2022, DAG met with around 50 community partners and other interested parties to discuss the City of Cape Town’s first draft of the Integrated Human Settlements Sector Plan (IHSP). This plan sets out the City’s strategy for housing delivery over the next five years (2022 – 2027). The draft Sector Plan describes a key shift in human settlements development for Cape Town: that is, from now onwards, the City will prioritise
Bright and early on Saturday 30 October, mere days before the 2021 local government elections (LGE/elections), community leaders, activists and interested community members from across the city made their way towards Mitchells Plain. Their purpose, to participate in DAG’s Urban Forum IV, a community dialogue hosted under the theme: Local / Municipal Government and the Release of Well-located Public Land for Affordable Housing – What Happens After the Elections? Equally excited, the DAG team eagerly
Written by Querida Saal & Helen Rourke. In November 2020, the national Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation announced with great fanfare that the government will no longer prioritise building houses for qualifying applicants, but instead focus its interventions on providing serviced land which people can use to build their homes themselves. The reprioritisation is ostensibly a response to the call for land made by the landless as well as enterprising individuals unwilling to
“People need permanency to fix their lives…housing and social development only work when we work together. You can’t do one without the other!” Given the recent announcements and focus on the homelessness, DAG sees transitional housing facilities linked to social development processes as a potential long term solution (read DAG statement).  On Tuesday, 08 June, DAG hosted an exciting Transitional Housing Learning Tour. The learning tour saw around 15 participants from various community organisations and
DAG HAS UNPACKED THE CONTENT OF THE WESTERN CAPE GOVERNMENT DRAFT INCLUSIONARYHOUSING POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR YOU! The Western Cape draft inclusionary housing policy framework was released for public comment on 14 May 2021 and it lays out important definitions and concepts. It also outlines how municipalities should go about developing municipal inclusionary housing policies. Check out the story board below, which our team has put together in order to unpack and simplify the content of
A move in the right direction! The Provincial Government has released a Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy Framework for public commenting.  If you would like to #HaveYourSay and be a part of the public participation process, click on the links below to read the draft policy, register for Monday’s meeting and to find directions on how to submit your comments. Read the policy and submit comments… To attend one of the virtual workshops hosted by
Click to read the Press Statement… Click the image below to read the publication…
Statement Issued by: Development Action Group Minister Sisulu’s delivery of the budget speech shed some interesting light into the direction of the housing programme. It is important for citizens to understand the implications of the approach outlined by the Minister. For the last 35 years, DAG has worked along with community based and civic organisations in advocating for the realisation of housing and land rights. The Minister shared three refocus areas: Upgrading of Informal settlements
MEDIA STATEMENT Date: 26 February 2021 Issued By: Development Action Group OCCUPATIONS VERSUS CITY OF CAPE TOWN The City of Cape Town lodged papers today with High Court in order to collect data on the households living in Cissie Gool House. The aim of the data, from what once can tell, is to estimate the eligibility and means testing of the households living in the occupation. Whilst this might be the outward narrative, the ultimate
Today a group of civil society organisations and academics urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately release three large, well-located and vacant (or under-used) military sites in Cape Town for the development of low-income housing. The three pieces of nationally-owned land – Ysterplaat, Wingfield and Youngsfield – have the potential to combat Cape Town’s affordable housing crisis and alleviate the most harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven many into homelessness. By releasing the
On the 1st of September, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment announced new measures to enable property owners in less  formal township establishment across Cape Town to develop small scale rental accommodation. This life-altering news marked a significant shift in housing delivery and in highlighting the role that the government can play in enabling the delivery of alternative tenure and housing models in Cape Town. The announcement includes the
Mattie Stepanek once said that “Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.“– this is very true and very encouraging to see how building relationships and partnerships between civil society organisations and the private sector can improve the quality of life and food security in the communities. DAG is moved to be part of  a life-altering electronic food voucher initiative which has provided about 1900 food relief


Together, we can build a community where everyone has access to a safe and dignified housing and basic services. Be the change you want to see. Join us in this journey of building communities that build and advocate for equal and just cities.

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