Ricochet News

Oudtshoorn Municipality: “We have paid back the money”

By Charl Bosch - Jul 9, 2015
Oudtshoorn Municipality: “We have paid back the money”

The troubled Oudtshoorn Municipality has rebuked a newspaper article that it was to blame for the disappearance of a R16-million investment account belonging to the Cango Caves.

According to Eyewitness News, municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengwe, said the amount had been transferred back into heritage site’s account after it was originally shifted due to outstanding debt.

He also added that some of the funds were used for the caves’ capital budget and that most of the attraction’s debt had been paid with around R350 000 still outstanding.

Earlier this week, Die Burger reported that the municipality had failed to pay a service provider R3-million for the upgrading of electrical connections and lights inside the caves, while denying that the account, which reportedly disappeared last year, ever existed.

Mangqwengwe however stated that the information had been wrongly interpreted to the public, and that an investigation would be launched soon.

A power struggle between the African National Congress (ANC) and a coalition of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (Cope) had resulted in the municipality being thrown into chaos with a breakdown in service delivery and allegations of financial mismanagement.

In an interview on Tuesday, DA Provincial Minister for Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer, confirmed that an embargo had placed on the municipality’s bank account after it failed to table a budget for the 2015 / 2016 financial year.