Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company to shutdown for 7 weeks as part of extensive maintenance

Table Mountain Cableway in the clouds. Picture: Unsplash

Table Mountain Cableway in the clouds. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jun 12, 2024


The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) in Cape Town has announced that it will shut down for seven weeks for maintenance.

This is to ensure compliance with global safety and preventive maintenance protocols stipulated by governing standards such as the Swiss BAV regulations for cableways.

The planned closure is scheduled from July 15 to September 1, during which period all commercial operations will seize.

The TMACC said that the annual maintenance shutdown happens in the middle of the year, after the mid-year school holidays, during South Africa’s winter season which is generally quieter period for tourism.

Andries de Vries, Technical Executive at TMACC, said they rigorously inspect and service every aspect of the cableway, ensuring consistent alignment with international best practice and the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) specifications.

He said that while there was never a perfect or ideal time to schedule such work, the winter period posed the least impact for travellers who come from all over the world to experience the natural wonder of Table Mountain.

The service provider said that some maintenance periods were less intensive and disruptive, the work planned for 2024 was more extensive.

“The various pieces of equipment and components of the Cableway including the cable cars themselves, the track ropes, and other infrastructure items each require their own unique routine inspection cadences and maintenance cycles, as recommended by the OEM,” said the TMACC.

This will be the first time since 1997 that a full cable replacement as well as maintenance of the hanging and running gear as per OEM (Doppelmayr Garaventa) specifications, will be done.

De Vries added that they will be replacing all four of the 1.5 km-long track rope cables and the engineers will inspect every bit of the operating equipment, the cars, and all their component mechanisms.

“To complete the extensive work, key tooling like winches – which are extremely large and heavy must be flown up the mountain piecemeal, by heavy-lift helicopter, and then expertly assembled at the summit,” said De Vries.

He noted that over the coming weeks, throughout the build-up to the shutdown, Cape Town residents and tourists can expect early morning helicopter activity on and around the mountain, as equipment is flown to the top.

De Vries added that though the cableway will be closed, most of the routes and walkways will still be accessible, and travellers can still climb to the summit; however, the hiking trails directly under the pathway of the cables will be closed as there will be extensive work happening overhead.

“The key difference is that there will be no cable car trips to take you up or more importantly bring you to the bottom.

“Thus, hikers should be mindful of changing weather conditions when embarking on a hike up Table Mountain, knowing that they would have to hike down,” said De Vries.