The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) said in a statement that it would be closing its gates, and remain closed until after the Easter weekend, or “or until greater clarity is given”.
Table Mountain Cableway: Wednesday 18 March 2020
Health and safety take priority
On Twitter, the TMACC said that it “values the health and safety of [its] visitors and staff above all else”, and added:
“In light of the #CoronaVirusSA, we have taken the decision to close our operations from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until after the Easter weekend”.
TMACC also confirmed that it’s in “constant contact with other tourist operations” but adds that each business needs to make a decision for themselves “depending on their exposure.
As TMACC cannot ensure that social distancing takes places, it was in the best interest of the country to temporarily close its doors.
Impact of closure on suppliers
Wahida Parker, Managing Director of TMACC, said in a statement the popular tourist destination is “hot-spot for potential spreading of the virus”, and explained that the closure will have “ripple effects”:
“The impact on the tourism economy is huge. I cannot even begin to quantify it. It is painful for us to acknowledge that through our closure we are impacting small suppliers and tour operators who are dependent on the attractions remaining open.”
The company is adhering to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to “act in a responsible manner and to work with Government to curb the spread of COVID-19” in South Africa.
The TMACC says it has put arrangements in place “for visitors who have already purchased tickets, to use these tickets at a later date. In addition, visitors can apply for a refund.
The company added a FAQ post on its site that address the following questions:
- Will staff members be paid for the time while you are closed?
- As a responsible employer, we have a legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe, healthy work environment and to use reasonable endeavours to limit risk to our employees.
- Can people still hike up the mountain if they wish?
- The TMACC encourages all individuals to “practice social distancing and avoid places that the City of Cape Town has closed, including nature reserves.
- Have you quantified how many customers you might end up losing, and are their financial contingencies in place to make up the financial loss?
- Considering the extent of what is happening globally, and without a clear end in sight, it will be very hard for us to quantify the financial loss at this point in time.
- Is this the first time that TMACC has had to cancel or close in this kind of manner?
- Closing the operation on short notice is something that we are very familiar, as we are highly dependent on the weather in order to operate.