Retail Survey


During 2021, the GTP conducted a study into the business and retail environment in the Bellville CBD and the Voortrekker Road Corridor. The objective of the study was to provide a baseline set of information to help understand more about the make-up of the business environment in the Bellville CBD. The results will be of particular interest to prospective retail tenants, developers and businesses interested in starting business operations in the area.

We started with an analysis of how business activities were represented by land use (land use activity per building floor) and which type of business activity is present in each building floor. We then compared the results with the results of earlier surveys run during 2015 and 2017.

The most notable result is that 542 more businesses are operational in the CBD than seen in the 2015 and 2017 surveys. In total, 958 are operating in the area – a 43,4% increase in economic activities from 2017.

The bulk, 12.3%, of commercial activity is concentrated around the public transport interchange. This zone, comprising 12 blocks between Durban Road and Blanckenberg Walkway and Wilshammer Street and South Street, reported the greatest increases in economic activity, from 40 businesses operating there in 2017 to 118 businesses in 2021. The second greatest increase in activity was from 14 businesses operating to 85 in the block bounded by Kruskal Avenue and Durban Road, Church Street and Wilshammer Street. This development is notable given that the growth in business occurred between 2020 and 2021, when many businesses around South Africa were closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the survey area, only 57 spaces were recorded as vacant, from street level up to the 11th floor of the tallest building in the CBD.

In terms of sector, the majority, 49%, operate in the wholesale, retail trade and the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles sectors. Accommodation and food service activities account for 12,1% while other service activities are responsible for 9,1%. Construction takes up to 5,8%. The financial and insurance activities make up for 5,4%, human health and social work activities cover 4,4%, transport and storage are responsible for 4%. Professional, scientific and technical activities make up 2,7% of activities in the Bellville CBD.

Other categories, which have a smaller share in the area, include: Administrative and support service activities, at 2,4%; Public administration and defence at 2%; Compulsory social security at 1,5%. Education is responsible for 1,1% and manufacturing for 1%. Arts, entertainment, and recreation is on 0,6%, Real estate activities 0,3% and Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply make up for 0,1%.


The survey also included a comparison of the characteristics that define a high street. High streets are multi-dimensional areas serving local and neighbouring areas, which are driven by an easily accessible geographical location and convenient economic activities.

According to the survey, the top three economic activities in 2021 were wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, and food services. These businesses are typically located around Central Bellville close to the public transport hub. Most of these businesses are situated in street facing premises. This is ideal for attracting foot traffic passing through the transport hub throughout the day. These characteristics reflect a typical high street environment.

For the purpose of this study the Bellville CBD is defined as follows:

  • The area south of Voortrekker Road, between Durban Road and Charl Malan Street and ending at the entrance of the Bellville Station precinct (i.e., excluding the Bellville Station precinct).
  • Broadly, the bus and taxi rank area located at the intersection of Charl Malan Street and Belrail Road.
  • The area south of Voortrekker Road, from Boston Street to Durban Road, wrapping around the edge of Elizabeth Park on AJ West Street towards Durban Road.
  • The area bound by Teddington Road, Durban Road (including the buildings which intersect the park) and Voortrekker Road, and where the alignment of Vrede Street is perpendicular to Durban Road).

The survey identified high demand for various categories of business activities. These included: wholesale trade in foodstuff; beverages and clothing; and student and affordable housing. This profile offers opportunities for business operators to strategically locate their offerings to meet the demand.

There is also a high demand for financial services, with over 12 cash loan outlets, nine banks, 22 business support agents and nine life insurance companies operational in the area. The Bellville CBD also offers over 50 medical practitioners and one large private hospital.

For more information about Bellville as a high street location, contact us at .