Some 500 tourists were left stranded for nearly three hours on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town as load shedding bites.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company MD Wahida Parker confirmed that around 500 people were on top of the mountain when a backup generator failed to operate.

The cableway has a backup hydraulic drive and electricity generators at both the upper and lower cable stations to ensure the cable cars are not at risk during load-shedding.

“Power surges are believed to have caused the failure of our generator. It failed to kick in because of the amount of times it switched on and off, and eventually it took a toll," said Parker.

She said a decision had since been taken to close the cableway - a major tourist attraction for the city - for a day.