Special Message: how can we make positive change at a time of crisis?

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Mar 26, 2020

A few words from our CEO, Warren Hewitt

The next few months are going to be crucial in our ability to make changes for the greater good of our society, one small task at a time. While we are in the midst of one of the most confronting challenges of our time, I believe it’s important to look forward with optimism and a mindset of progress and innovation. Rebuilding our communities after the lockdown and beyond will require a huge collective effort from all parts of our society. 

What needs to happen next doesn’t, and shouldn’t, diminish the progress I’ve always seen on the ground in Bellville. We can build on what’s been done before to create a solid foundation from which to grow beyond the immediate crisis. 

I talk to people and businesses who are making incremental progress in their own environments that, together, have the potential to add up to large-scale change in our society. Those change-makers come from big business, micro-enterprises, schools, small NGOs and so many other pockets of our public and private society.

While they come from different places, they have one thing in common: They are the committed individuals who stepped forward to say “I will do it.” We are surrounded by people who take the risk of thinking differently about what they can do to change their part of the world.

Beyond that, they do one thing: they act. Each of those businesses, schools and individuals choose to do at least one thing to change the status quo, to make the world an incrementally better place.

The GTP takes this philosophy very seriously and our team does what it takes to live it through their work.

Incremental actions make a big difference

The GTP was established in 2012 with a mandate to drive the upliftment and regeneration of Cape Town’s northern suburbs. To do this, we identified three core goals: to build a connected community, to drive a 24hour economy, and to lead the urban transition to a sustainable, vibrant and economically prosperous urban centre.

We pursue these goals through various projects which each form a strand of progress towards our vision for Bellville. Our path is one of incremental actions that will help to uplift and improve our community. Our role is not to clean the streets or to monitor public safety but we work closely with and support the VRCID and MES GROW teams in that regard.

Over the past few years, we have sought to create a platform to drive the urban turnaround in Bellville. We’ve created projects and nurtured the decision-making ecosystem required to stimulate change in the area.

This year we have planned to move into a phase of accelerated development, attracting investment and sparking innovation that will help to move us forward. Despite, or perhaps because of, the COVID19 crisis, we are more focused than ever on exposing the potential that exists in Bellville not only for the benefit of Capetonians, but also as a means to attract a national, regional and international investment market.

We will do it. Will you? 

It’s not easy to predict how the current crisis will roll out. But what I do know is that we will need to move forward – and quickly. 

We want to work with businesses willing to contribute time, expertise and money to the upliftment and regeneration of Bellville – particularly now. We want to connect individuals who are working to create a positive impact on their community with others who need their skills. We want to find the confident developers and investors seeking savvy investments, to focus their future plans on this area, which is so ripe for diverse development.

And we want to meet the members of our community who are willing to step forward, saying “I will do it”, who are willing to work together, with us and others, committing to driving incremental change in the name of achieving progress for the benefit of our entire community.

We will do it. Will you? My door is always open to find out how we can work together. Email me on