Ponte City is a skyscraper in the Hillbrow neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built to a height of 173 m (567.6 ft), making it the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. Designed by Manfred Hermer, the architect who also designed the Johannesburg Theatre and the Andre Huguenot in Hillbrow, and constructed in 1975, it was envisioned as a white-only haven of luxury with panoramic views across the city. By the end of the 1980s, criminal activity had become rife within the tower. By the 1990s, after the end of apartheid, many gangs moved into the building and it became extremely unsafe. The structure deteriorated, and the building’s central void became a rubbish dump and suicide drop. The core filled with debris five stories high as the owners left the building to decay. Building owners have considered various solutions, including a 1998 proposal to turn the building into a prison. The building is now owned by London-based Kempston Group.
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