The organization was formed after a meeting convened the Aryan Benevolent Home Council. Its purpose was to focus on the wellbeing and institutional needs of senior citizens on a national or provincial basis by community orientated activities. A provincial conference under the auspices of the Aryan Benevolent Home was held in Durban on the 30th and 31st August 1969, officially opened by Mr G. N. Oldfield. Leading personalities from the Indian Community and representatives of many welfare organisations were present. The regional representative of the Department of Indian Affairs, Mr M. J. De Wet Van Eyssen and the director of the South African National Council for the Aged, Mrs Z. Droskie also addressed the conference. The need to form an organization such as DAFTA was unanimously decided and an ad hoc committee was formed to establish the organisation and finalise its constitution.
Since inception, Mr B. A. Naidoo was principally responsible for overseeing the growth of the organization through the committee until DAFTA was formally established. He, along withMrs Z. Droskie were responsible for DAFTAs constitution.
The inaugural meeting, held on the 5th December 1970, was presided by Councillor Mr C. A. Haupt and addressed by Mr J.J. Conradie, the President of the Durban branch of The Association for the Aged (TAFTA). Although DAFTA was formed with the full support of the community, recognition did not come easily. The Department of Indian affairs required further clarity verifying that the aims and objectives of the organization did not clash with existing bodies. Messrs S. Rambharos, M.E. Sultan and B.A. Naidoo met with the representatives of the Department of Indian affairs to seek recognition. The process took over two years before recognition was granted.
In its infancy, DAFTA was fortunate to have the support and expertise of Dr A.M. Moola, Mr C.M. Bassa, Mr P.R. Pather, Mr V.S.V. Pillay, Mr M.E. Sultan, Mr B.A. Naidoo andMrs P. Ramesar. Dedicated and committed personal of high caliber were on the committee; this included Mrs S.L. Singh and Mrs M.E. Saunders. Mrs Saunders was responsible for the unanimously adopted slogan "help them grow old gracefully".
The organisation initially opened on the ninth floor of the ECM Building in "Beatrice Street". Without a full-time team, officials and members took turns working at the offices and performing administrative duties on a voluntary basis. Results began to show when the first clerk and social worker was appointed.
Mr K.T. Maistry was elected as the 1st President. He served as seven terms during which DAFTA grew in stature. His dedication and tireless efforts alongside other non-government organizations and community based organization allowed DAFTA to gain recognition.
In early 2000, DAFTA endured severe financial stress. With the guidance of the late President Mr A. Odayar, DAFTA continued to operate.
For a period of 35 years the organization was operated from rented premises were staff had to content with oppressive heat and humidity in a confined area. DAFTA then acquired property in 145 Lemuria Grove, Arena Park. Management and members, through their dedication and untiring efforts, were able to successfully build the Administration Block, comprising two floors. The building was occupied on the 1st August 2006. The building stands as a monument to all those who served the organisation with dedication and commitment.
2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Association - an outstanding achievement for any organisation. The organisation intends to celebrate 40 years of service to the senior citizens with a number of events and functions.