WHAT WE DO
Over the past 5 years, DAG explored and collaborated with relevant stakeholders, working towards creating more equitable, inclusive and vibrant neighbourhoods. This work focuses on access to affordable and well-located land and housing, and is complemented by evidence-based research, the creation of popular materials, and the creative use of the media. This programme currently focuses on two main areas of Cape Town – Woodstock/Salt River and Maitland Garden Village and its surrounds. In inner-city neighbourhoods, like Woodstock and Salt River, which are subject to gentrification, DAG has actively facilitated inclusive neighbourhood regeneration through both neighbourhood Over the past 5 years, DAG explored and collaborated with relevant stakeholders, working towards creating more equitable, inclusive and vibrant neighbourhoods. and site-specific facilitation to unlock state-owned land for the delivery of well-located affordable and social housing through democratic urban governance processes. In Maitland Garden Village (MGV), DAG has been partnering with local civic organisations like the Maitland Garden Village Housing Forum over the last six years. We continue to support their efforts to advocate for affordable and well-located housing as a solution to the housing crisis in MGV, which is characterised by large scale backyarding.
Woodstock and Salt River
Over the last three years, DAG started working very closely with other NGO’s, such as the National Association of Social Housing Organizations (NASHO) and City of Cape Town Social Housing Departments. Through years of discussion and dialogue, an approach of urban regeneration was developed that includes housing for working-class households in the inner-city. This ultimately led to the commitment by the City of Cape Town to release eleven parcels of land for social and affordable housing sites in the inner city. The initiative to release publicly owned land by the City is the first of its kind, and two of the sites are scheduled for development in late 2019 and 2021. This will result in significant social housing investment within the inner city and pave the way for greater spatial integration.
One of the main achievements made by DAG to date for has been the successful facilitation of the relocation of the Pine Road informal settlement in Woodstock to the first transitional housing project developed along Pickwick Street in Woodstock. The Pine Road informal settlement located in Woodstock has been home to 19 families for over 20 years. The site has however also been earmarked for the delivery of the first social housing in the inner city, a project that intends to accommodate 220 families. DAG has since 2015 been working closely with the families of Pine Road to secure alternative accommodation in the area. 2019 was a huge milestone as the Pickwick transitional housing was completed and the families living on Pine Road relocated with DAG’s support. The facility is the first of its kind in Cape Town and nationally – it includes rented rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities all managed by a Non-Profit managing agent appointed by the city.
One of the other big achievements was the commitment from the City to a new way of engaging with civics in Woodstock and Salt River as part of the programme around inclusive neighbourhood regeneration. DAG played a critical role both with the City of Cape Town and local civics to co-design this new processes of civic engagement through facilitating a number of workshops and civic dialogues, coupled with extensive one on one meetings with civic leaders and officials. In 2019, the City team received an official mandate from the senior council to undertake this non-mandatory process over the next two years. DAG’s role in this process is recognized is pivotal in this process. The process of establishing relationships and building trust over three years and across a diverse group of actors finally came to fruition through this process.
For news and articles on Pickwick Street transitional housing and Woodstock and Salt River click on links below…
- Proper shelter can change a person completely- GroundUp
- Pickwick Transitional Housing – Magzter
- Salt River site: look at the bigger picture – Cape Times
- Cape Town City Council delays decision on social housing project
- Residents settling into new housing site in Salt River – Cape Argus
- 19 families will move to City’s first transitional site in Salt River – Cape Argus
- Genetrification Rapidly Growing Trend In Many Areas Of The City – Cape Town TV
Maitland garden village
The Maitland Garden Village (MGV) is one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs previously established as a coloured-only community for municipal workers in the 1920s. It is also the first established ‘Garden City’ in South Africa. The MGV community has a rich heritage characterised by both activism and a love for the sports. However, this community is currently threatened by a changing urban-landscape including escalating property prices, overcrowded housing, and high unemployment.
DAG has been playing a supportive role for the MGV Residents’ Association since 2017 by providing capacity building workshops around community organising and annual planning. The work in MGV began with a two-week ‘Change-by-Design’ workshop with Architecture Sans-Frontiers (ASF), which was focused on using design thinking as a means to improve communication. In addition, DAG has also engaged with government officials on the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) process, which MGV is a part of, to understand where the community fits into government plans. Unfortunately, very little emphasis has been placed on the future of MGV from the government’s side, leaving some of the residents feeling like they have been forgotten.
As we continue to strengthen the civic association in Maitland Garden Village, we also believe that there is a great need for peer to peer learning between civics like Woodstock and Saltriver, Bo-Kaap etc.
Re-imagining Mitchells Plain
Mitchells Plain United Residents Association (MURA), an organisation which aims to unite and network with other organisations around issues of mutual concern relating to Mitchells Plain. DAG is supporting MURA to establish three key workstreams- Land & Housing; Economic Development; and Safety & Security. Through MURA’s relationships, strong political support has been garnered in establishing a partnership with City of Cape Town and other bodies to reimagine Mitchells Plain.
DAG’s partnership with MURA has been an effective way of demonstrating support for a well organised civic association. Whilst the journey to reimagine Mitchells Plain is gradual, the foundational emphasis on values, principles and impact have been achieved.
Read summit news and articles below…
- A vision for the future – By Fouzia Van Der Fort : The Plainsman
- Call to grow commerce – By Fouzia Van Der Fort : The Plainsman
- Manuel Addresses Mitchells Plain Summit to Tackle Socio-Economic Issues -By Kevin Brandt : EWN
- Plan to get ‘Plain’ to take off – By Fouzia Van Der Fort: The Plainsman
- Forging the way forward – Samantha Lee : Peoples Post
MURA: MITCHELLS PLAIN SUMMIT
Re-Imagining Mitchell’s Plain Summit.
WATCH: On Saturday 17 November 2018, The MURA: Mitchells Plain United Residents Association in partnership with the Development Action Group (DAG), hosted a highly engaging and thought-provoking #ReImaginingMitchellsPlainSummit in Lentegeur. The summit provided a platform for the residents of #MitchellsPlain to come together under one roof in order to develop a common vision and understanding of how to address the socio-economic issues affecting their #community as well as how #land among other issues, needs to be utilised in Mitchell Plain.