Changing perceptions about Ponte: Dlala Nje

Johannesburg's iconic circular residential skyscraper, Ponte City, has a back story that is as compelling to learn about as the building is to look at. Now, Dlala Nje, an innovative local company, is gaining prominence for its memorable tours of Ponte and its surrounds.

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Ponte City tower has made it into film and fiction more than once. This 54-floor behemoth has a storied past. However, as local company Dlala Nje notes on its website, the often dire depiction of Ponte City and the surrounding area of Hillbrow is based on perceptions. And these perceptions need to change.

“Dlala Nje, in a nutshell, aims to challenge perceptions and to create opportunities. We do this through running inner-city immersions and experiences in some of our city’s most misunderstood areas,” the company says on its website.

Dlala Nje offers three tour options.

This is Hillbrow is a 3km guided walk through Ponte City, Hillbrow and surrounding areas, while Taste of Yeoville is a three-hour tour of historic Rockey Street (an area that remained defiantly diverse during the 1980s in apartheid South Africa). This tour will allow you to sample cuisine from all over the continent.

If it’s just the building that’s caught your fancy, then the Ponte City Experience gives you an opportunity to understand and explore Africa’s tallest apartment building. You’ll learn about its rich history, visit the community centre and enjoy striking views of the city from the 51st floor.

The company also holds events such as the #PonteCityChallenge, in which runners were encouraged to take on Ponte’s 900 steps.

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Dlala Nje is praised by tourists from around the world on TripAdvisor.

Curious? You can find out more about Dlala Nje and how to book a tour here: https://www.dlalanje.org/.