The Harties Cableway of 1973: a photo story that captures the past

  • 28 March 2013

The original Harties cableway operated for 32 years before shutting down. Originally constructed in 1973 using materials supplied by Swiss manufacturing company GMD Müller, the cableway entertained countless visitors from around the world, giving them a bird's eye view of the Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounds.

Apart from delighting visitors with thrilling cable car rides, the upper cableway also became a popular launch pad for paragliders. However, three decades of operation took their toll and the cableway fell into disrepair, finally closing down in 2005.

In 2010 Zargodox began a private initiative with the aim of growing tourism in the Hartbeespoort area, and purchased the old cableway. In collaboration with Swiss company Rowema AG, Zargodox invested R50-million in innovative engineering and construction methods to rejuvenate the old cableway and bring the area back to life.

The Harties Cableway, which reopened in August 2012, has since evolved into an unparalleled, uniquely South African aerial cableway experience. It comprises 14 hi-tech cable cars, each carrying six passengers, and has the capacity to transport up to 500 people every hour on a round trip. The paragliding fraternity has also revived activities from the top, with special ticket concessions.

In his address at the official launch of the Harties Aerial Cableway, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk congratulated the team responsible, saying: "Anyone who has been to Switzerland will tell you that the Harties Cableway is up there with the best. This is a world-class facility and we need many more products like this.”

The Harties Cableway offers visitors panoramic views of the beautiful surrounds, as well as various recreational and educational facilities.

One of the original cableway gondolas, circa 1973

Looking across the platform at the original cable cars

A simple bank of control panel switches belonging to the former cableway system

The somewhat archaic-looking 1973 control panel

Another view of one of the original cable cars

A clamp belonging to the 1970s-era cableway

Now fallen into disrepair, this was once the service cage used to maintain the original cableway 

 

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