Safety initiative

A competition has been launched to help students stay safe in the Bellville CBD.

It’s being run by the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and students-accommodation company, Park Central Lifestyle, in off-campus residences.

It encourages students to come up with innovative ways to improve their own safety.

The winning student residence stands to bag more than R30 000 in prizes and will also get business training so they can turn their idea into reality.

GTP chief executive Warren Hewitt said: “We cannot simply rely on the police or the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) to keep us safe. It is something where the community has to get involved in, and we have seen over the last few years the positive results when we involve young vibrant minds of our students, so hopefully something good will come out of this challenge.”

Students, young professionals and foreign nationals played a “massive role” in the area, and keeping them safe was a “top priority” for the GTP, he said.

The greater Tygerberg area is home to several tertiary institutions, including the University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University Business School, the Health Sciences at Tygerberg Hospital, Northlink College and Cape Peninsula University of Technology. 

“We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas to improve the quality of life here, not only for students, but ultimately for everyone in the area, then that would be the ultimate expression of urban innovation,” Mt Hewitt said.

George Comitis, director of Park Central Lifestyle, said there had been a “few occasions, especially at night” when students returning home or going out for the evening “had encountered gangs” or been robbed of their cellphones.

He encouraged students to enter the competition to find ways to make their neighbourhood safer.

“After all, they live in the area, they are innovative in their thinking and they should be brave enough to be walking outside.”

The competition is for the off-campus residences of Park Central, Kruskal House, Toplin House and Toplin Two in the Bellville-Parow area and smaller residences all over the greater Tygerberg.

To enter, students must form groups on four to represent their residence.

There can be more than one group representing a residence. They must complete an application at and then send in a 60-second WhatsApp video pitch to 073 870 5039 by Friday May 3.

The top 10 will be chosen and the GTP will give them a pitch deck to present to a panel of 12 judges on Wednesday June 12.