Bellville has become the biggest development in the city and sits perfectly on the busiest interchange. File picture.
Bellville has become the biggest development in the city and sits perfectly on the busiest interchange. File picture.

Bellville rich with potential, opportunity

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Aug 18, 2019

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Cape Town - Bellville, in the northern suburbs, wants to package itself as the city within a city and attract investors, especially those interested in affordable housing.

Called Cape Town’s second city, it is growing fast in sectors such as health, tertiary education and small businesses.

Chief executive of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, Warren Hewitt, said: “Bellville has become the biggest development in the city. It sits perfectly on the busiest interchange.”

A report by the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, titled “Discover Bellville”, outlines how it has grown over the past 115 years from being formally known as the Twelfth Mile Village to being renamed Bellville in 1904.

It has grown so much into a potential city, with its main centre bustling with rich opportunities and potential.

Bellville’s public transport interchange does 400 000 trips daily.

According to the report, the minibus taxis are the preferred method of transport for consumers.

The informal traders’ market has also been growing significantly, with more than 59% of informal traders operating in the Bellville CBD for six to 10 years, even longer. The informal economy has a significant effect on Bellville’s economic profile.

Hewitt said: “With the growing trend of urbanisation and densification around city spaces, major metropoles, such as Cape Town, need a supporting environmental structure to be able to maintain efficient economic growth.”

The area has also become well known for its health-care services.

Tygerberg Hospital is the medical anchor. Major institutions, from the US for example, have invested heavily in health facilities in Bellville. Last year the University of the Western Cape (UWC) opened a R244million state-of the art facility of community health sciences in the heart of the Bellville CBD. And in July, the South African Medical Research Council launched a state-of-the-art genomics centre on UWC’s Bellville campus.

“Cape Town is particularly hamstrung by its physical constraints and should be aggressively pursuing a strategy of developing its secondary nodes, such as Bellville, Philippi and Paarden Eiland/Milnerton.

One way to seize this initiative is to start locating local governmental structures and departments in these areas to spark the development cycle and drive secondary node growth,” Hewitt said. As a mature, accessible centre, Bellville, specifically the Voortrekker Road Corridor, is categorised by the co-existence of the old and new.

Well-established services and mid-rise office blocks with large floor plates have offered opportunities to create high-density employment.

Existing buildings in Bellville and aggressive investment incentives are ripe for the development of affordable accommodation,

“Affordable accommodation in Bellville will be a great opportunity.

“The area does not have many high-rise buildings to make it densely populated. Affordable accommodation could work because it would be closer to services,” Hewitt said.

The property market in the area has also been growing steadily.

In the sub-region around Bellville and Parow, price growth slowed from 11.9% y/y in the final quarter of 2017 to 11.2% in the second quarter of last year. The property market in Bellville has been growing well.

Residential property especially has grown quickly, he said.

The City of Cape Town has glazed over Bellville slightly for a while.

It is seeking to regenerate four precincts across the Voortrekker Road Corridor, using City-owned land holdings and older buildings for the development of social housing.


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Cape Argus

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