Home Community Annual Cableway Charity Challenge promises epic day of endurance for a noble cause

Annual Cableway Charity Challenge promises epic day of endurance for a noble cause

by Tania Griffin
A group of hikers

One of Cape Town’s most beloved charity fundraising events will take place again this month. Saturday, 20 April 2024 will see the 15th edition of the Cableway Charity Challenge, hosted on the slopes of Table Mountain. This unique mass hiking event invites individuals, corporate teams and school groups to ascend Platteklip Gorge as many times as they can between sunrise and sunset, all to raise funds for noble causes.

“The Cableway Charity Challenge has become legendary, both for its charitable contributions and for being an exciting space for team building, making friends and having fun taking on a physical challenge,” says Selma Hercules, executive director for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).

This year, the challenge will once again be held over a single impactful day, after having adapted to pandemic regulations with an extended event duration over the past couple of years.

Though Platteklip Gorge can be a gruelling ascent, with its seemingly endless winding stone steps, Hercules emphasises that the Charity Challenge is a fun, social event, open to all: from elite runners to casual weekend adventurers. Participants will enjoy the solidarity of climbing together and the camaraderie this event is known for, bolstered by the beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain.

“The first event took place in 2009, and over the years it’s raised close to R15 million for various beneficiaries focusing on education, health, environmental and leadership projects. The 2024 challenge marks the 15th year of making a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable communities, especially women and children, in and around Cape Town.

“As usual, TMACC will proudly send its own corporate teams to join hands with the community and test our endurance against the gorge. Participants can look forward to a free cable car descent after each climb, providing some much-needed respite between ascents, and the well-deserved chance to soak up the breathtaking views,” she adds.

Having enjoyed a bumper tourist season and a busy summer, TMACC is expecting a good turnout for the event and has therefore requested that visitors planning trips to Table Mountain be mindful of the date set for this important community event.

“Since its inception, the Cableway Charity Challenge – made possible by the dedication of volunteers under the JDI initiative – has broadened its impact beyond education support to encompass a variety of fields including environmental conservation, health, sports and leadership initiatives, which is characteristic of TMACC’s holistic approach to community upliftment,” Hercules says.

The Cableway Charity Challenge 2024 supports causes like:

  • Abalimi Bezekhaya, a project to empower township residents with organic farming skills for food security;
  • Funda Kunye, which works to support early childhood development efforts in Hout Bay;
  • Ndihluthi, which provides nutritious, affordable meals to underprivileged communities;
  • Wilderness Search and Rescue, which has generously assisted TMACC with emergency services, not only on challenge day but on a voluntary basis to the public thought out the year; and
  • Volunteer Wildfire Serviceswhich is run entirely by volunteers and forms an integral part of the Western Cape’s response to wildfires. Many of its members have bravely fought fires on the slopes of the mountain where the Cableway Charity Challenge takes place.

“The goal is to raise R1 million in pledges, directly benefiting the 2024 nominated beneficiaries, each of whom is making a profound impact in their respective fields,” Hercules says. “We invite you to join this big day. Whether you sponsor a participant in your circle, or simply share the event with friends and family, your involvement can help make a difference.”

Image credit: Jurie Senekal & Katrien Heere

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