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Johannesburg’s Imposing Ponte City Tower

Ponte City Tower is a 54-story cylindrical skyscraper in Africa, being the tallest residential building in Johannesburg. This construction has a unique hollow inner core, being crowned by the largest advertisement sign in the southern hemisphere.

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It was completed in 1975, during the era of Apartheid, and back then was probably Johannesburg’s most luxurious residential building for the whites. The only black people allowed at Ponte City were the servants, who lived on the top floors with tiny windows. The building also included six penthouses fitted with wine cellars, saunas, patio braai areas and roof decks.

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The ground floor of the tower featured shops, hairdressers, a bowling alley and also a concert venue.

The building fell into disrepair in the 1980s when the investment in the suburb dried up. All the residents moved out and the whole place turned into a slum. After four decades of decay, the core of the tower was filled with debris five stories high.

These days, the building is occupied by ordinary people, more than 3000 being black people and just about 12 whites.

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