Everyone who experienced load shedding yesterday felt inconvencienced by Eskom, but perhaps there are those who felt they were at more of a disadvantage than others. Approximately 500 people found themselves stuck on top of Cape Town’s greatest landmark, Table Mountain, when Stage 6 load shedding was implemented.
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) has a backup generator that allows the cable car to still run, but yesterday, it failed to kick in.
“Power surges are believed to have caused the failure of our generator. Visitors who were at the bottom waiting to go up are being offered free tickets for an alternative day,” general manager Wahida Parker said in a statement. “Our technical team is monitoring the impact of the sudden implementation of Stage 6 load shedding to best accommodate our visitors in a safe and responsible manner. We are doing everything within our power to make sure any visitor’s experience of Table Mountain is a positive one, even under these extreme conditions.”
The group is reported to have been brought down the mountain safely.
Stage 6 load shedding was active from 6pm until 11pm yesterday. “With a higher demand of about 600MW and a shortage of capacity, this “necessitates load shedding” to move from Stage 2 to Stage 4 and then Stage 6 as of last night,” Eskom said in a statement. “This follows a technical problem at Medupi Power Station affecting additional generation supply. The heavy rains have caused coal handling and operational problems at several power stations. In addition, with the incessant rains, we are beginning to experience flooding at some power stations, which have further led to load losses and have affected supply as the rainy weather persists. We continue to utilise diesel and water resources at our open cycle gas turbines and pumped storage schemes respectively, to supplement capacity.”