By the end of the Second World War, the Tygerberg area was still predominantly rural. The towns of Bellville, Durbanville and Parow each remained a distinct nucleus of urban development. The growth of these areas has been slow. Durbanville, by far the oldest according to the 1946 census, only had a population of 1667. However, Bellville has grown more rapidly than the other areas of Tygervalley.

Population Growth

Before 1875 the best clues to the population of the Tygerberg district are in the Dutch Reformed Church’s records. In 1870 they recorded the area population at 1200, however a census was carried out and “D’Urban” was found to contain 121 houses and one hut, 177 males, and 215 females.

According to the 2011 Census, the Bellville population was 44 209, including 21 055 males and 23 155 females. The number of households was 15 453 and the average household size was 2.86 people.

History of Durbanville

Durbanville was founded in the early 19th century. It was the first village in the Tygerberg area and was primarily a watering station for travellers between.

Bellville’s First Town Plan

After 1940, town councillors were determined to exploit Bellville’s possibilities, as it was a big and rapidly expanding town with railway developments. They decided to get professional help.

In 1945 they commissioned Thornton White and partners to draw up a town plan, and gave them an instruction: to free up the town centre for commercial development and to place industrial areas in relation to the future railway development.

The plan’s implementation was explosive; no other city or town in South Africa grew as fast.

Historical Buildings in Bellville

Early buildings in Bellville that can still be seen today include:

  • The police station, Voortrekker Road
  • Roman Catholic Church (1928), Welterwreden Street
  • De Tijger Kombuis Restaurant, Old Oak Road
  • Sea View, University Site, Mike Pienaar Boulevard
  • 11 First Avenue, Boston
  • The Vines, Strand Road (originally a house)
  • 12 & 14 Hof Street
  • Row of houses, Teddington Street