More Bellville CBD upgrades planned

Bellville Kruikal Av Phase 1

More improvements are planned for the heart of Bellville, including the restoration of the civic centre’s clock tower.

The Kruskal Avenue upgrade was completed in February but only unveiled to the public late last month because of the national lockdown. The contract saw the resurfacing of Teddington Road and repairs to pavements in Voortrekker and Durban roads. Trees were planted and benches placed along the roads.

Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said the work was done to draw investment into the Bellville CBD.

“‘This area is a hub of activity, and the upgrade is making it easy for people to access businesses and amenities. The improvement also promotes ease of access and social cohesion.”

Sculptures of red-winged starlings by artist Ralph Borland have been placed on poles around the area. Another work by Borland is at the Elizabeth Park entrance.

The next phase of the Kruskal Avenue upgrade should start towards the end of 2022, Ms Nieuwoudt said.

“The project will include the upgrading of the remaining section of Kruskal Avenue and lower Blanckenberg Street.”

Derek Bock, from the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, said their safety officers had an increased presence in the area.

“It is heartening to see investment into the CBD of Bellville, and we thank the City for this. However, the upgrade now needs to be properly managed, and City by-laws need to be enforced. We cannot allow traders or members of the public to destroy what was upgraded; this is for the benefit of all in Kruskal Avenue.”

Meanwhile, the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) has launched a campaign to restore Bellville Civic Centre’s clock tower and install a fountain in the surrounding park.

“The Bellville civic centre and its iconic clock tower have been a landmark in Bellville for more than 60 years,” said the GTP’s Warren Hewitt. “Today, however, the clock stands still as a result of neglect and insufficient maintenance. Recognising the architectural importance of the local icon, the GTP embarked on a project to restore the tower to working condition, and to regenerate the surrounding park in the grounds of the civic centre. The aspirational project seeks to create a new positive public space for the people of Bellville to gather during the daytime and to congregate for special occasions at night.”

The first phase of the project was expected to cost R120 000, he said, he said.

The public can contact marcus.fourie@gtp.org.za for more information or to make a contribution.