Staff

Akhona Siswana
Akhona Siswana

Akhona is the Project Coordinator. He joined DAG in August 2011 as a finance person for the Khayelitsha Housing Project and later did some facilitation work on the project. Akhona has contributed to various practical community development initiatives, such as stakeholder management, socio-technical support, community engagements and community learning platforms. He holds an Internal Auditing certificate from the Walter Sisulu University of Technology and Science and has attended the Essential Practice of Community Development course offered by CDRA and many other staff development courses/seminars offered by DAG. Akhona is a die-hard Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester United supporter, a secretary to Young Brothers Rugby Football Club affiliated to Western province Rugby Union and enjoys spending time in the sports ground watching rugby.

Alicia Cornelius
Alicia Cornelius

Alicia is the Project Support Officer. She enjoys working at DAG because she believes the organisation provides a platform for continued learning which enable people to grow and learn something new every day. She is passionate about her work because it gives her the opportunity to work in projects that are dedicated to creating positive change in the lives of disadvantaged communities.

Brian Adams
Brian Adams
Chuma Giyose
Chuma Giyose

Chuma is the Project Co-ordinator. He holds a National Diploma in Town and Regional Planning. Prior to joining DAG, Chuma worked as an Operations Manager for a construction company and for the Community Organisation Resource Centre as part of the technical team. His work experience has made him more sensitive to both the construction and urban development challenges. He enjoys his role at DAG and is passionate about using his skills as tools to effect positive change in the construction industry as well as add value to communities at large.

Conrad Meyer
Conrad Meyer

Conrad is the Project Officer. He is a Political Science and Economics professional with a strong interest in political economy. He started working at DAG as an intern before he became the Project Officer. Conrad says he enjoys working at DAG because the organisation has a knack for working strategically in the societal crevices where politics, economics and civil society collide in order to facilitate creative solutions to SA’s developmental challenges.

Crystal West
Crystal West
Helen Rourke
Helen Rourke

Helen is the Programme Manager. She holds a partially completed Mphil in Urban Infrastructure Design and Management, UCT as well as Diploma in Urban Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularisation, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Helen has over fifteen years of experience in the urban development sector with a focus on informal settlements, urban land markets, regeneration, low-income housing, citizen mobilisation and partnership building and local government. Helen has extensive expertise in informal settlement upgrading, including the coordination of the NUSP socio-technical assistance to the City of Cape Town for 32 informal settlements and pioneered the Hangberg Insitu upgrade in 2008. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors and camping.

Helena Davids
Helena Davids

Helena is the Accountant at DAG and has been in this position since September 2004. She has worked in the NGO/NPO sector since 1985: Cape Credit Union League (1985-1996); People’s Dialogue on Land & Shelter (1996 – 2014); DAG 2004 – current, including an 8.5 month period at Shackdwellers International (April - November 2008). Helena has a Diploma in Management Accounting and Finance and attended several financial courses/seminars/workshops during her 32 years in this industry. She enjoys DIY, handicrafts, gardening, working with youth, attending self-development courses, cycling and connecting with family and friends.

Kathy Aranes
Kathy Aranes

Kathy is the Operations Director. She has worked in the Non-profit sector throughout her working career. She is passionate about making a difference in society both personally and professionally. Kathy has been with DAG for over 20 years (with a 3-year broken service record working for a trade union). She cycles for fun and hopes to make it her favourite pastime.

Kundai Nyamutenha
Kundai Nyamutenha

Kundai is the Communication Officer. She is a seasoned communications practitioner with over 10 years experience working in the NGO sector. She studied Communication Science as well as Communications and Journalism. Kundai is passionate about community development and sharing community stories. She uses her skills in media and communications to amplify the voice of the community as well as highlight the impact that people are making in their communities. She believes that Umuntu ngu muntu ngabantu (I am because we are). Kundai is also passionate about women and young people’s rights, participation and inclusion in all development processes.

Lorenzo Johnson
Lorenzo Johnson

Lorenzo is the Project Support Officer with over 3 years of experience working in the improvement district industry. Lorenzo enjoys working for DAG because the organisation is passionate about supporting the marginalised communities. He enjoys his role at DAG because it gives him the opportunity to do what he is passionate about and that is working in the inner city and disadvantaged communities.

Majaha Dlamini
Majaha Dlamini

Majaha is the Project Support Officer. He holds an MPhil in Southern Urbanism and a Bsc Honours Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which were both attained from the University of Cape Town(UCT). He is interested in exploring how urban data can be turned into intelligence to tackle the ever-growing urban issues as well as provide evidence-based research and solutions. Majaha enjoys DAG’s hands-on approach and how the organisation works with the communities to provide practical solutions to various challenges.

Ntombi Reshane
Ntombi Reshane

Ntombi is a General assistant. She is responsible for maintaining our office space, welcoming guests as well as overseeing that meetings run smoothly. Outside of DAG you will find her in Gym, playing Netball and attending community meetings.

Phefumlela Bam
Phefumlela Bam

Phefumlela is the Project Support Officer. She is passionate about informal settlement development in unison with community participation. She enjoys working at DAG because she loves the dedication of the team and the vital role that the organisation plays in tackling urban development challenges and that the organisation is not afraid to ask the questions that an ordinary South African is afraid to ask.

Querida Saal
Querida Saal

Querida is the Researcher. She holds a Masters degree in Political Science from Stellenbosch University. Que is an experienced human rights researcher skilled in quantitative and qualitative research, policy analysis, and project impact evaluations. She has worked as a researcher at various institutions where she tracked the political, security, socio-economic, infrastructure and retail developments, across various African countries. She is passionate about development and has always had a keen interest in a wide range of issues, including but not limited to socio-economic rights, poverty alleviation, inequality, development, gender and civil and political rights. She is excited to be working for an organisation that has a rich history and ground-breaking work on urban development and urban land reform."

Ryan Fester
Ryan Fester

Ryan is the Project Officer. He is a 2019 fellow of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders with a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning (MCRP) from the University of Cape Town. Ryan is a game-changer in the social sector who is committed to using his skills to take a holistic approach to solve community issues whilst strengthening partnerships between the community, public & private sector. Alongside his work, he has been actively involved with voluntary youth development work; working with young people ages 12 – 18 years old.

Willard Matiashe
Willard Matiashe

Willard is the Lead Researcher. He is a trained Spatial Planner with a broad range of interest and abilities. He joined DAG in February 2012 and currently serves as DAG’s lead researcher on small and medium research projects related to housing and urban development. His core research interests are on contemporary urban development policies, urban land management practice with a specific focus on Land Value Capture, and development disputes in South Africa.

Zama Mgwatyu
Zama Mgwatyu

Zama is the Programme Manager. He holds an honours degree in Public Administration from UWC as well as a Diploma in Urban Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularisation from Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands. Zama has extensive experience working with underprivileged and marginalised communities in Cape Town as well as managing research programmes including but not limited to DAG’s community research in temporary relocation areas. Zama has extensive experience in coordinating and leading on projects related to human settlements and facilitation of active community engagement in all activities.

Zinzi Gatyeni
Zinzi Gatyeni

Zinzi is an Administrator. She is responsible for providing office and administrative support to the DAG team in order to enable effective running of the organisation.She assists with a variety of projects and office activities. Zinzi is a loving and caring person who places high value on work and family.

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