Bellville is situated in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, in the Tygerberg hills with breathtaking views over the Winelands. It was founded as “12 Mile Post” because it is located 12 miles from the Cape Town City Centre. It was also a railway station on the line from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and Strand. Bellville was originally known as “hardekraaltjie”. It was renamed Bellville in 1861 after the surveyor-general Charles Bell. The Bellville Civic Centre was opened in 1957; city status was conferred in 1978, and the town incorporated into the wider metropolitan area in the 1990s.
Bellville has now grown into an important commercial, industrial and residential centre. The area is also home to several institutions of national importance, including the University of the Western Cape, Tygerberg Hospital (a major teaching hospital affiliated to the University of Stellenbosch), Stikland (psychiatric) hospital and the Karl Bremer Hospital. The Bellville Velodrome, located in the Tyger Valley area of Bellville, has an indoor cycling track. Shopping centres in Bellville include the Bellville Mall, Tygervalley Shopping Centre and Willow Bridge.
Bellville is home to Sanlam’s head office, which is located on Strand Road. On the corner of Voortrekker and Durban Roads, lies the Twelve-mile Rockstone which is an historical monument that marks the distance from the Cape Town City Centre. The Mayibuye Centre at the University of the Western Cape houses a range of items from the struggle against Apartheid. The collection comprises material relating to all aspects of apartheid and the anti-apartheid struggle, social life and culture, and includes a photographic archive, posters and banners, oral history and collections of historical papers and art.
Edward Street in Bellville is filled with popular nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. The areas of Sacks Circle and Bellville South are very productive industrial areas which house big manufacturers such as USABCO and Nampak. The Bellville Triangle complex close to Bellville South, houses Companies like Clover and Astra Park.
The Bellville Golf Course is a 18-hole course which lies in a sheltered valley with wonderful views of the Hottentots Holland Mountain range. The Tygerberg Nature Reserve features a 7.5 kilometre hike with excellent views over the entire peninsula. At the Durbanville Wine Valley, visitors can experience endless vineyards, quaint restaurants and typical South African hospitality. Other attractions include the Tyger Valley Waterfront and the Reptile Garden at Stodels Nursery that showcases more than 35 species.
Cool Runnings in Bellville is an outdoor tobogganing track incorporating 17 corners, S-bends and a tunnel, where adrenaline junkies both young and old can reach speeds of up to 40km an hour. Riders can control their speed so it’s also safe for children. The park also boasts a large, covered terrace, food and drink facilities and a liquor license, making it the perfect spot for parties, functions or family outings.