Community Capacity Building
Community Capacity Building

The Community capacity building project works to equip and support civil society leaders and young urban professionals to enable the development of more inclusive and equitable cities through active citizenry.

Annually, DAG facilitates the Active Citizens Training Course, an action-oriented learning course for community activists, and community leaders across the Western Cape. The course has a specific focus on building alliances and strengthening the capacity and confidence of community leaders and activists at a neighbourhood and city-wide level. Training includes a combination of leadership, advocacy, and technical skills development.

DAG also supports up-and-coming young urban professionals by improving their understanding of urban land and housing issues and highlighting the importance of civic agency. DAG has been partnering with the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Global Citizenship team since 2016. The programme aims to equip engineers and other built environment students with the necessary information and skills to become active and engaged citizens. DAG also provides internships to young urban professionals seeking to enter the built environment field.

What we do

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The Active Citizen’s Training Course (ACTC) is a multi-module action learning course provided to a maximum of 25 different participants per year. The course is implemented via a set of 2-day sessions, run over four modules in the lived spaces of participants.

Active Citizens Training Course

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DAG partners with tertiary institutions such as the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Additionally, we work towards building the capacity of young urban professionals through our internship programmes.

Urban Professional Development


Over the last three years DAG’s Active Citizens Training Course (ACTC) has enrolled and capacitated 142 (2020 – 2023) participants from 50 neighbourhoods.  Past participants from areas such as Maitland Garden Village (MGV), Gatesville, Bo-Kaap, Mitchells Plain, Mamre, Woodstock,Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Cape Town City centre, continue to make strides in their advocacy for access to land and housing.
By the end of 2023, DAG had provided approximately 370 students with the opportunity to learn about community housing struggles – DAG does this by facilitating learning between community leaders and students. These learning opportunities work not only to expose students to the realities of community housing struggles, but also to give them insight into how communities are confronting these struggles daily through employing different advocacy and lobbying tactics.

Most Significant Change Story

ACTC graduate attests to improved community cohesion and service delivery

“The Active Citizens Training Course (ACTC) has improved my ability to identify and mobilise relevant stakeholders in order to assist my community. I have personally grown as a land and housing activist, and I am now a more confident leader. The way we interact with our ward councillor is now more productive and our community is more engaged in the work we do. As a result of our advocacy the informal settlement communities that emerged in 2020 have now received concrete toilet structures and are having water pipes installed.”

Ntomboxolo Fotoyi, Intlungu YaseMatyotyombeni (IYM)