Hillbrow Tower gets on the ball

18th December 2009 By: Creamer Media Reporter

A 35-t fibre glass soccer ball has been hoisted 96 m above the ground on Telkom's Hillbrow Tower, in Johannesburg, as the city counts down to the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The hoisting of the began on November 28, and was completed about two weeks later.

The Hillbrow Tower ball follows the completion in September of a record-breaking constructed football atop another Telkom tower, the Lukasrand Tower, which was officially recognised as a Guinness World Record in the category of 'largest football sculpture'.

The Hillbrow Tower ball was completed much faster, because the panels were produced and moulded while the Lukasrand ball was being constructed, and the same engineering team worked on both projects.

The shell of the Hillbrow ball consists of 150 separate pieces that required meticulous construction, Telkom said.

It took more than 24 hours for a single product to fully harden in a mould and a further seven days of curing before the moulds could be fixed to the wooden panels.

“Weather-wise, the elements have been more favourable to the construction of the Hillbrow ball, especially since its positioning around the tower allowed for the ball to be completely assembled at the foot of the tower, before it was hoisted to the top,” the company said in a statement.

“As a national supporter of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Telkom is confident that this initiative will engender and sustain public excitement ahead of the world’s largest football showpiece to be hosted in South Africa next year,” said Telkom programme director for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Thami Magazi.

“With the final draw for 2010 being completed recently, the towering feature over Johannesburg is a fitting spectacle with which to mark this occasion.”