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The dizzy heights of high rise window cleaning

As Yanga Gwe steps over the edge of one of Cape Town’s tallest skyscrapers his mind does not dwell on the street a nauseating 100-odd metres below.

This daily leap of faith that would give most people nightmares has long since stopped making his heart race.

The 27-year-old has worked as a professional rope technician since 2015 and routinely dangles from the city’s high-rise office blocks to clean windows and carry out repairs or refurbishment work.

‘I just can’t wait to get on the ropes’

But, although he doesn’t suffer from vertigo, he recalls how he planned to face any potential fears head-on when he first qualified for the job.

He phoned his office and asked to be sent to the 42-storey Portside building to “shake the scare away”.

“I had to get the hang of working on a tall building first and I had to get the hang of working fast,” he recalls.

It did the trick.

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