Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has expressed sympathy for the visitors affected by the Eskom power outages which immobilised the cable cars last night.
Sabine Lehmann, CEO of the Table Mountain Cableway Company, said: “We are so sorry that our visitors had to experience this nerve-wracking event. We are investigating the matter and will follow up directly with each person affected.”
Lehmann explained that the cable cars had stopped 2m outside of the docking stations at the top and lower stations when a power failure caused a mechanism, which guides the cable cars into the docking bays, to move out of position.
The Cableway has a back up drive which immediately kicked in. But before the cars could be returned to the docking bays, they first needed to be moved further out of the bays so that the guide mechanism could be repositioned.
“It took some time for the technical support staff to thoroughly evaluate the situation and during this time the visitors in the upper car became nervous and asked to leave the cable car. So we decided to first evacuate the visitors before moving the car further out and repositioning the docking mechanism,” Lehmann said.
At the top station Wilderness Search and Rescue evacuated people from the cable car. People were taken to the restaurant on top of the mountain, where they were served refreshments. At the Lower Station, the second car was also 2m outside of the docking station so people were lowered to the ground.
“The Cableway’s main priority was to get people out of the cable cars. Once people were out of both cars our technical staff sorted out the guide mechanism. Within 20 minutes of the guide mechanism being sorted out, we started bringing people down the mountain. The last person was brought down by 1.30am,” Lehmann said.