Digging deep for Cango Caves' missing millions

Cango Caves GM says about R16m for operational expenses disappeared from an investment fund.

Cango Caves. Picture: www.cango-caves.co.za

CAPE TOWN - Management of Oudtshoorn's Cango Caves said it remains unclear about what happened to millions of rands earmarked for the upkeep of the tourist attraction.

Cango Caves general manager Hein Gerstner said about R16 million meant for operational expenses disappeared from an investment fund last year.

The World Heritage site has found itself in financial difficulty since its bank account was reportedly joined to that of the Oudtshoorn Municipality account in 2014.

Local Government officials started an investigation after allegations surfaced that funds were syphoned from the caves accounts for the municipality's use.

Gerstner claimed the site is R3 million in debt as suppliers have not been paid by the municipality

"This is very detrimental to the operations of this cave on all three levels; operations, marketing and conservation."

He said the municipality has been unwilling to explain what happened to the funds.

Rumours are however swirling that the money was abused.

Meanwhile, the municipality has denied claims that the funds were misused.