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.


•By Adi Kumar• Cape Town has its hands full with land occupations. Fiery commentary from the national Minister of Human Settlements, Mayco Member for Human Settlements and Mayor emphasises the need to protect public and private land. All state that lawlessness is not to be tolerated. The spheres of government have also systematically blamed each other for the failures. The national minister claims that the City of Cape Town is unable to protect land or the
We are delighted to announce that finally, after two years of patiently waiting, DAG is now a full member and partner of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN). The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) is a dynamic and multi-sectoral alliance of international partners committed to increasing access to land and tenure security for all, with a particular focus on the poor, women and youth. As an organisation that values partnerships, DAG is thrilled to have the
Background In 2019, DAG partnered with the Provincial Department of Human Settlements to work in eleven informal settlements in the Western Cape to strengthen the capacity of local civic organisations and leaders to actively participate and lead their informal settlement upgrading projects. As a result of this partnership, DAG was selected as one of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in partnership with the Mossel Bay Municipality (MBM), informal settlement leaders and Aurecon to implement the
•By Adi Kumar & Querida Saal  Et al• Wingfield, Youngsfield and Ysterplaat could house more than 120,000 people In his address to the nation on 20 April, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “There can be no greater injustice than a society where some live in comfort and plenty, while others struggle at the margins to survive with little or nothing at all.” Nowhere is this injustice clearer than in access to land and housing. So why
•By Aditya Kumar & Phumeza Mlungwana• About a week ago a municipal official contacted one of the partners of the Asivikelane network trying to find out why his municipality had still not been given the green light in our bi-weekly findings, even after they had delivered water tanks to informal settlements. When this query was followed up with community leaders, it was discovered that in one settlement, tanks had been delivered but not yet filled
Hunger combined with the COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater threat to the poor communities than the pandemic on its own. With little economic opportunities during the lockdown and insignificant informal trade, most of the informal settlements communities especially are struggling to put food on the table. The demand for and access to food has become a major point of concern and a huge priority. DAG continues to work closely with various partners and organisations involved
The construction sector is pleading to be allowed to return to work as from the 1st of May under strict measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CC19RRTT) is the champion behind this initiative which consists of associations in the construction sector and its entire value chain that ranges from suppliers, manufacturers, built environment professionals, developers and contractors. The CC19RRTT argues among other points, that the sector currently
De-densification is complex and contested at the best of times and needs to be assessed and navigated on a case-by-case basis; it is definitely not an appropriate response during the Covid-19 disaster that creates further shocks to a part of society that is most vulnerable, nor is it appropriate at scale. South Africa has close to 2,700 informal settlements that are home to more than 1.2 million vulnerable households. Despite several progressive policies and frameworks,
10 April 2020 The Development Action Group (DAG) is deeply concerned about conditions and operations at the Strandfontein Sports Grounds, in Mitchell’s Plain currently housing more than a thousand homeless people. Commencing in early April, the City of Cape Town has been busing homeless persons from across the city to the campsite, where they are to be housed for the duration of the 21-day lockdown period announced by the President to curb the spread of
Everyone in the world is being impacted in some way by the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are challenging times for everyone. Recently, we shared DAG’s response to the evolving situation, and we would like to share a few initiatives that the communities have been busy with. DAG’s main purpose is to ensure sure that communities are aware and well-informed around COVID-19, social distancing and the importance of basic hygiene. As an organisation that advocates
Dear friends and partners of DAG.   In the light of COVID-19 pandemic and President declaring a State of Disaster in South Africa, DAG is taking proactive steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and partners. In consultation with the board and staff, we are continuing to work remotely, but have decided to postpone any large community gatherings until further notice to avoid any spread of the pandemic. Our office will remain
Every year on the 8th of  March we join the world in celebrating #InternationalWomensDay (IWD), a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. Today we celebrate all the milestones on the road to gender #equality and recommit ourselves to fight for the rights and equal opportunities for #women and #girls around the world. As a way of taking concrete action to help forge an equal world, we asked the DAG team members to strike the #EachforEqual campaign
The tenth World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi brought together thousands of advocates, civil society organisations, practitioners and government officials to discuss the impacts of urbanisation, housing, land and climate change. Panel discussions, round tables and networking sessions focused on addressing poverty, inequality and human rights. Despite the strong emphasis on accountability and transparency in the human rights literature, there prevails a reluctance to hold governments to account – both to their treaty commitments but
DAG welcomes the Statement on the planned feasibility analysis for City’s proposed inclusionary housing policy, made on Sunday 10th of November 2019 by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor MalusiBooi. The announcement is an important step towards the development of a much needed inclusionary housing policy and programme. According to DAG’s Programme Manager, Helen Rourke, this announcement is momentous as it signals an important shift in the way we think about land
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 and adequate shelter for all, we are dedicating this day to reflect and highlight the demand for adequate housing in South Africa as well as
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 a studio apartment starts at about R8 000 a month in Woodstock and Salt River, and a whole lot more
July 4, 2019 On Saturday 29th July 2019, the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) and the Development Action Group (DAG) hosted a stimulating and engaging workshop entitled, Exploring Opportunities for Sustainable Community Development. At the event, the findings of an assessment of the assets and land available in Lentegeur and Rocklands (neighbourhoods in Mitchell’s Plain) as well as the findings of an analysis of the City of Cape Town’s (CoCT’s) budget priorities for Mitchell’s Plain, over
On Monday, the 20th of May, 19 households living in an informal settlement on Pine road relocated to a newly renovated affordable rental Transitional Housing Facility on Pickwick Street Four days after the much-awaited move, I visited the Pickwick street facility. During my visit, I saw Mr Samuel Moses (Not his real name) looking relaxed and dressed down. We discussed many matters relating to the facility, but as I was leaving he said something that
Is the City ready to deal with complex inadvertent issues linked to the sale of historical public rental stock?   The City of Cape Town’s Human Settlements Directorate is offering about 9 000 qualifying tenants who are living in Council-owned rental properties the opportunity to purchase their units and to become property owners. These properties include free-standing and semi-detached houses, terraced or row houses and maisonettes that are located across the city in areas such as
By Adi Kumar and Ryan Fester South Africa is considered a ‘young urban nation.’ Over 15 million people live in the country’s five metropolitan areas and account for roughly 64% of the population. The majority of these residents are considered ‘young,’ ranging in age from 15 – 34. The hyper-urbanized nature of the South African population is not unique to the rest of the world: over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. But


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