Campaign to get Bellville clock tower ticking again

Money is being raised to refurbish Bellville’s clock tower.

Bellville’s sleeping clock tower could soon be ticking again thanks to a campaign that is raising money to refurbish the landmark and surrounding gardens at the civic centre.

The 35-metre-high clock tower was built in 1957 as part of the Bellville Civic Centre.

“The centre was built with a banqueting hall, dance hall, stage, council chamber and mayor’s office. With these facilities, it was said to be the cultural heart of Bellville,” said Warren Hewitt, CEO of The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (TGTP).

But the clock tower has stopped working, the gardens have withered and the fountain is in need of repairs.

According to one of the sponsors, Johan Potgieter, the idea to refurbish the clock tower was sparked four years ago.

“I see the clock as an iconic landmark of Bellville and thought it was important that it started ticking again as one way to improve and uplift our community infrastructure,” he said.

“I approached the civic centre management and they told me what the approximate cost to fix the clock would be. I realised that I could not raise the funds by myself and the idea had to take a backseat, until I could come up with a better plan.”

Then when he saw the TGTP starting a campaign on social media to fix the clock, he offered to help.

According to Mr Hewitt, TGTP’s campaign began on Monday March 8 as a crowdfunding project that invites people to pledge their support and help improve Bellville’s public places.

“The minimum target is R150 000 to repair the four clock faces and install new lighting to enhance the tower at night. Currently dilapidated and not working, the fountain will be refurbished and restored, becoming a striking centre piece with the new lighting installation,” he said.

So far R33 550 has been raised for the restoration project.

Mr Hewitt said the restoration would happen in three phases. The R150 000 first phase will restore the clock faces and fountains; the R3.85 million second phase will redevelop the gardens and civic centre buildings and the R2.5 million third phase will see a new amphitheatre built.

“Our goal is to raise R150 000 by the end of April, which will be sufficient to repair the clock and fountain around the base of the clock tower. Once all funding is secured, we estimate the work will take a month to complete. This will be phase 1.”

Email TGTP project manager Marcus Fourie, at marcus.fourie@gtp.org.za for more information.