David Bester, a former "resident" of Table Mountain, returned to the popular tourist attraction for the first time in nearly 80 years to celebrate his 79th birthday.
Bester and his family were invited by the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company to commemorate the occasion. Bester's parents lived on the mountain in the Cableway House in 1943 when his mother was pregnant with him.
Bester was born in Cape Town on January 1944 and was the first baby to travel up to the top in a cable car at just two weeks old. However, it was deemed too dangerous to have a young child living on the mountain, so his parents left when Bester was 11 months old.
Bester spent Saturday morning showing his family members around the upper mountain plateau where he used to play as a toddler. He also reminisced about his mother serving tea and sandwiches to visitors in the current Shop at the Top building.
"I have fond memories of my early days living on the mountain. Just imagine being a young toddler, exploring the natural beauty of the mountain. Table Mountain was my play park. Sadly, I don’t have any photographs left over from those days, but it was a moving experience to again see my childhood home.
"This was my first ever visit back to the mountain since those early days and I thank the Cableway Company for assisting me and my family in making this ‘homecoming’ journey a reality," Bester said in a statement to the media.
The Cableway has been upgraded three times since it first started operating in 1929, and has transported over 30 million people to the summit of Table Mountain. The Cableway Company invites all South African residents to celebrate their birthdays on the mountain with a free return cableway ticket valid for the month of their birth.
The Cableway has transported over 30 million people to the summit of Table Mountain since it first started operating in 1929. The milestone was reached in December 2022.