About Bellville

Bellville is a former city in the Western Cape province of South Africa; it is now part of the greater Cape Town metropolitan area. It falls within the area of the City of Cape Town municipality.

Originally called "12 Mile Post" (Afrikaans: "12-Myl-Pos"), since it is located 12 miles (20 km) from Cape Town city centre, it was originally founded as a railway station on the line from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and Strand. In 1861 it was renamed Bellville, after the surveyor general Charles Bell. The city is located in the northern suburbs of the greater Cape Town area. It is very central, situated close to the airport, various golf courses, wine routes and shopping complexes. The Karl Bremer Hospital functioned as the Academic Hospital for the University of Stellenbosch Medical School and the new Tygerberg Hospital now houses the medical school. The University of the Western Cape is also situated in Bellville.

Situated in Bellville, the Tyger Valley shopping centre is a sprawling mall with a huge variety of shops, boutiques and recreational facilities. Opposite Tyger Valley lies the Willowbridge open air shopping centre, which features the Willowbridge Slow Market every Saturday. The High Street shopping complex is situated just off Durban Road. Adjacent to Durban Road lies Edward Street, a service road filled with popular nightclubs, bars and restaurants catering generally for nightlife entertainment. The Mayibuye Centre, which houses a collection of material from South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, is worth a visit because most of the collection pieces were originally banned.

Quick Facts

  • The multi-purpose Bellville Velodrome is located in the Tyger Valley area of Bellville.
  • Opposite the Velodrome is Africa's first toboggan track, Cool Runnings.
  • In May 2007, Meg Ryan and William H. Macy completed the last day of principal photography for their new movie, The Deal, at the Bellville Civic Centre.
  • In the local music scene Bellville has been nicknamed Bellville Rock City due to the number of popular bands that hail from the city, such as Fokofpolisiekar, Foto Na Dans, Jax Panik, aKING and Die Heuwels Fantasties.
  • A community of Somalis have made several blocks of downtown Bellville their refuge from war at home, as well as locally where they have become victims in neighbouring districts of commercially-motivated violence and killings.