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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6 months ago
International Budget Partnership

"It is estimated that working class citizens spend up to 40% of their income commuting to better economic opportunities, but the public transport system has, over time, become unreliable and unsafe. ... See more

Can the emergence of cross-class and cross-race coalitions frame new forms of citizen participation and improve fiscal transparency and accountability in South Africa’s historically divided ... See more

7 months ago
Photos from Development Action Group's post

Over the past weekend, we welcomed a new group of community leaders and activists to #DAG’s 2019 series of community-based capacity building and learning programme called the Active Citizens’ ... See more

7 months ago
MURA: Mitchells Plain United Residents Association


MURA's extended exco and DAG met the Executive Mayor of the City, Dan Plato today to talk about a partnership focusing on the three sectors. Safety and Security, Land and Housing and Local ... See more

7 months ago



3rd September 2019 | 12:53 pm

Affordable Rental Development Information Session

The Development Action Group’s Contractor and Developer Academy in partnership with iBuild Home Loans will be hosting an Affordable Rental Development Information Session in Delft, on Saturday the 14th of September 2019 from 09:00-14:30. The information session will explore how iBuild Home Loans finance processes work as and DAG’s role in providing support to the […]

1st August 2019 | 1:15 pm

Ward Councillor Accountability and Transparency Seminar

Development Action Group (DAG) in collaboration with the Civic Action for Public Participation (CAPP)  will be hosting a seminar on Ward Councillor Accountability. The event will be used as a learning session for civic organisations across Cape Town to understand the role and function of Ward Councillors and the available avenues to hold Councillors accountable. […]


7th October 2019 | 4:23 pm

World Habitat Day 2019

The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year a World Habitat Day (WHD). The purpose of #WorldHabitatDay2019 is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter. As an organisation that pushes and advocate for sustainable development policies that ensure and promote safe inclusive cities […]

20th September 2019 | 4:32 pm

Affordable Rental Development Information Session – Delft

The Continuous growth in urban population trends across South Africa has seen most people continue to flock to cities and this had led to an increase in demand for affordable accommodation in the cities. In Cape Town, most newcomers cannot afford the formal private rental market in and around the city centre, where rentals for […]

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.