Hillbrow Tower

Coordinates: 26°11′13″S 28°2′57″E / 26.18694°S 28.04917°E / -26.18694; 28.04917
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Telkom Joburg Tower
Hillbrow Tower
Hillbrow Tower (right) with the Ponte Apartment building and the skyline of Hillbrow.
Record height
Tallest in Africa from 1971 to 2021[I]
Surpassed byIconic Tower
General information
TypeRadio tower
LocationHillbrow, Johannesburg,  South Africa
Coordinates26°11′13″S 28°2′57″E / 26.18694°S 28.04917°E / -26.18694; 28.04917
Construction started1968[1]
Opening1971; 52 years ago (1971)[1]
OwnerTelkom (South Africa)[2]
Antenna spire269 m (883 ft)
Top floor204 m (669 ft)
Technical details

The Hillbrow Tower (formerly JG Strijdom Tower) is a tall tower located in the suburb of Hillbrow in Johannesburg, South Africa. At 269 m (883 ft), it was the tallest structure and tower in Africa for 50 years, until it was surpassed in 2021 by the 393.8 m (1,292 ft) Iconic Tower in Egypt's New Administrative Capital. For seven years it was also the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere until 1978, when surpassed by the 270 m Mount Isa Chimney in Queensland, Australia. It remains the tallest telecommunications tower in Africa, and the tallest structure in sub-Saharan Africa. Construction of the tower began in June 1968 and was completed three years later, in April 1971. Construction cost 2 million rand[1] (at the time, US$2.8 million). The tower was initially known as the JG Strijdom Tower, after JG (Hans) Strijdom, South African Prime Minister from 1954 to 1958. On 31 May 2005 it was renamed the Telkom Joburg Tower.[3]

The tower was constructed for South African Posts & Telecommunications, which later became Telkom,[4] South Africa's government-run and largest telecommunications company. As the general height of buildings rose in the central business district, it became necessary that the height of the new telecommunications tower stayed above the height of the buildings surrounding it.[1][2]

Tourist attraction[edit]

The Hillbrow Tower has been closed to visitors since 1981, primarily due to security reasons. Before the closure, the Hillbrow tower was one of the largest tourist draws in Johannesburg. The public was able to enter six public floors at the top of the tower. One of the floors housed a popular revolving restaurant named "Heinrich's Restaurant" and a discotheque named "Cloud 9" as well as another non-rotating restaurant known as "the Grill Room" and the observation floor which was at 197 m height.[5]

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a huge football was fitted to the tower to celebrate the event. In 2013, television programme Carte Blanche broadcast from what used to be the revolving restaurant.

The Hillbrow Tower is one of two iconic towers that are often used to identify the Johannesburg skyline. The second tower, the Sentech Tower (old Albert Hertzog Tower), is used for television and radio transmissions.[1][2][3][4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Davie, Lucille (6 January 2004). "Hillbrow Tower – symbol of Joburg". Archived from the original on 6 March 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Telkom lights up Jozi's night skyline". Telkom. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Hillbrow Tower renamed". City of Johannesburg. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b c James Barber, Angela Fung, Sandeep Toshniwal, Becky Voorheis, and Campbell R. Harvey, Telkom, South Africa", Winter (1999). Retrieved 2011/03/17.
  5. ^ "Hillbrow Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Tallest free-standing structure in Africa
269 m (883 ft)

1971 – 1979
Succeeded by
Chimney of Secunda CTL
Tallest telecommunications tower in Africa
269 m (883 ft)

1971 – present