BELLVILLE CLOCK TOWER CHIMES OUT ONCE AGAIN – THANKS TO MAJOR RESTORATION CAMPAIGN
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP), together with the City of Cape Town, proudly launched the Bellville Clock Tower at the Bellville Civic Centre, on the fresh morning of 19 May 2022. The celebratory event was opened by Alderman James Vos and supported with a word from the Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis himself. This is the first time the tower has properly functioned in over 25 years.
For over two decades the clocks on the Bellville Clock Tower have not been functioning, symbolising time standing still. With the new urban regeneration of Bellville, restarting the Bellville Clock Tower sends a clear message of progress and renewal. ~ Warren Hewitt, CEO of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership.
For the people of Bellville, this much-needed restoration means residents in the second metropolitan node of Cape Town can finally enjoy one of their most important architectural landmarks. Work on the renovation project finished at the end of April 2022 and included completely removing, rewiring, repairing, servicing, and re-installing the motors within all four clock faces, as well as giving the tower and its base a fresh coat of paint.
Councillor Jacoline Visser, the Ward Councillor for the area says, “The historic Clock Tower in Bellville means so much more than the time it keeps. We find ourselves so busy planning and looking at the future of Bellville, and by doing so we can overlook important things at ground level. Restarting this clock is the start of many new beginnings for Bellville.”
The surrounding pond area has also been cleaned and four new water fountains with specially manufactured fountain heads were installed on each side of the tower. Each has its own underwater colour LED spotlights inserted to create a mesmerising light installation at night.
“I want to highlight that it also illustrates much more than the repair of a broken clock, it symbolises an active change in the mindset and emotional investment of the community. I believe the renewed clock will set the tone of discipline and encourage ownership for all invested to repair Bellville together. I want to thank the GTP for reminding us, and the community of Bellville, that our time has begun for new things that are on the way to reviving Bellville,” Visser adds.
Hewitt continues by saying, “This is an incredibly exciting day for all living in Bellville and everyone should be exceptionally proud of their fantastic achievement. The new look Clock Tower is now not just a functional piece of art which everyone can be proud of, but also helps foster positive community cohesion and progress. The Clock Tower creates a new public space for residents to gather for markets, shows, and family gatherings during the day and a place for them to enjoy a captivating light show at night. The GTP is incredibly thankful to all donors and contributors who have helped make this project such a success.”
Breathing new life into the Bellville Clock Tower was only made possible thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised a whopping R97 550 in less than two months. Generous support and contributions came from residents and businesses including local designer RichBoy Clothing, who donated their time and merchandise, as well as some of Bellville’s national music legends who threw their weight behind the campaign. The likes of De Heuwels Fantasties, Fokofpolisiekar, Hiram Koopman, Francois van Coke, and Loki Rothman donated their time and merchandise to the campaign helping to increase the campaign’s exposure.
The campaign’s extraordinary level of success surprised many members of the GTP and City of Cape Town, and plans are already underway to continue the phenomenal fundraising efforts.
There is plenty of work still to be done to ensure the Bellville Clock Towner remains one of the best performing public spaces, not just in Bellville, but among the wider municipality. The GTP is committed to working closely with the City of Cape Town to continue executing our vision for the Clock Tower and we are especially confident that the people of Bellville will support us in our future endeavours. ~ Warren Hewitt, CEO of The Greater Tygerberg Partnership.