Venice turns 100 in Cape Town

We had a very special visitor to the Cableway on Monday.

Venice Mpande celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday 4 July, when he collected his birthday ticket. Unfortunately the Cableway was closed, so he came up on Monday morning instead (if the Cableway is closed on your birthday, come and fetch your ticket anyway – it is valid for seven days).

Centenarian Venice Mpande visits the Cableway. He would have been 15 when the Cableway first opened

Thomas Klingelhoeffer, a Cable Card holder, accompanied him on the journey.

“When I met Venice, he told me that he was older than Mandela,” says Thomas, who works in construction, and was introduced to Venice through one of his employees. “At first I didn’t believe him, and asked him to bring his ID book the next day.”

“Sure enough, I noticed that he was turning 100 years old on 4 July.”

Thomas often takes his employees up the mountain on their birthday, and treats them to a cup of coffee at the Table Mountain Café. This time, we treated Thomas and Venice to a scrumptious breakfast.

Thomas and Venice enjoying breakfast on the mountain

Venice had a great time on the cable car, making sure he was near the railing to get the best view. He will certainly have a great story to tell his family back in Langa.

Thomas has lived in Cape Town for 25 years, and loves the city. With his Cable Card, he is able to hike up Platteklip Gorge and get a ride down when he wants. Bringing people up Table Mountain with him on their birthdays is his extension of goodwill to his fellow citizens who can’t normally afford it, he says.

Cableway staff join in the celebration

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