As the country battled to come to terms with Stage 6 load shedding this week, about 500 people found themselves stuck on top of Table Mountain as the back-up generator of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) failed to kick into gear.
According to the managing director of the TMACC, Wahida Parker, power surges are believed to have caused the failure of their generator.
She said their technical team was monitoring the impact of the sudden implementation of Stage 6 load shedding, to best accommodate the visitors in a safe and responsible manner.
Ms Parker said they were doing everything within their power to make sure that any visitor’s experience of Table Mountain is a positive one, even under these extreme conditions. The group was safely brought down from the mountain.
“Visitors who were at the bottom waiting to go up, are being offered free tickets for an alternative day,” she said.
Meanwhile the staff at the TMACC are preparing to host the many anticipated tourists and locals this festive season.
To help beat some of the holiday rush and queues, the company has launched early-access tickets that allow visitors to take the first cable car up at 7:30am — before the site opens to the public.
The limited tickets are only available for purchase online and are valid until January 15 next year.
“For everyone visiting Table Mountain during this period, TMACC is providing an exciting entertainment and activity programme to get everyone in the holiday spirit,” said Ms Parker.
DJ Hilton Carlse will keep visitors entertained at the lower station, accompanied by the vibrant Siyabuya Marimba band. Father Christmas and the fairies will also sleigh up the mountain.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your festive season visit to the Table Mountain Cableway:
There is a high demand for parking during peak season, so visitors are encouraged to use public transport. This includes a free MyCiTi shuttle service operating along Lower Tafelberg Road, between Kloof Nek and the lower cable station.
Tickets are cheaper between 1pm and 4pm when the cableway is generally quieter.
There is free wi-fi in the wi-fi lounge at the upper station on the mountain.
Visitors wanting to learn more about Table Mountain can download free audio tours using their mobile phones. Free 30-minute guided walking tours are available between 9am and 3pm daily.
Students with valid local or international student cards get a discount.