Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell.
The way to the top has never been easy, and for many centuries only a handful of bold and enterprising people could say that they had climbed it.
By the late 1870's, several of Cape Town's more prominent (and possibly less fit) citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top.
Plans to implement a proposed rack railway got under way but the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war put a halt to the plans.
By 1912, with a strong desire to gain easy access to the top of Table Mountain, the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer to investigate the various options for public transport to the top.
The engineer, a Mr. H.M. Peter, suggested that a funicular railway running up from Oranjezicht through Platteklip gorge would be the most suitable option. A vote was held with the vast majority of Cape Town's residents voting in favour of the funicular. This, in spite of its cost, a staggering (in 1913) £100,000. The project was delayed yet again by war; this time the outbreak of the First World War (1914 - 1918).
The plan was resuscitated in 1926 after a Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, presented plans for a cableway. The plan caught the collective eye of a group of eminent local businessmen. The idea that an easy route up would finally become a reality drew them together, forming the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) to finance the construction. Work began soon afterwards and the project was finished relatively quickly.
On the 4th of October 1929, the Mayor of Cape Town, Rev A J S Lewis, headed the official opening ceremony that was attended by over 200 other guests. Since it's opening, 75 years ago,over 15 million people have taken the trip to the top.
The cableway has since become something of a landmark in Cape Town, and has carried some of Cape Town's most illustrious visitors, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Stefi Graf, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Magaret Thatcher, Prince Andrew, Micheal Schumacher, Brooke Shields, Micheal Buble, Tina Turner, Jackie Chan, Dolores O'Riordan, Skunk Anansie and Paul Oakenfold.
In 1993, Dennis Hennessy, the son of one of the founders of TMACC, sold the company.
The new directors immediately set about planning an upgrade to the existing infrastructure. Apart from upgrading the restaurants and machinery, new cars were purchased. Unlike their predecessors, the new cars, or Rotairs, have a revolving floor that allows passengers a 360-degree view of the city and mountain as they travel.
Work on the upgrade began in January of 1997 and, for several months cranes and the comings and goings of large helicopters carrying building materials dominated the mountain skyline.
The new cableway was officially opened on the 4th of October 1997, the anniversary of the original launch, almost 70 years previously.The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company celebrated its 75th anniversary in October 2004 and greeted its 16 millionth passenger in December of the same year. It remains the most popular tourist attraction in Cape Town.