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Claims that the Cango Caves will be ‘Privatised’ are Unfounded and Misleading

Oudtshoorn, 24 May 2021 – The Oudtshoorn Municipality has noted with great concern the misleading social media posts doing rounds alleging that the “Municipality intends to privatise the Cango Caves”.

Certain individuals within the Greater Oudtshoorn shared messages on social media in the past few days claiming that the Oudtshoorn Municipality intends to privatise the Cango Caves. These reports are false and mischievous.

“We want to clearly state that there is no intention to privatise the Cango Caves. This can never happen. The Caves has, due to the COVID19 pandemic, experienced a major decline in visitors and income since lockdown,” said the executive mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Chris Macpherson.  

“The latest Cango Caves’ media release issued by the Council on 4 May 2021 stemmed from a Special Council meeting held on 29 April 2021. This statement stated that Council decided to develop an economic recovery and turn-around strategy/plan for the Cango Caves. There was no mention of privatisation of the Cango Caves in the statement,” Macpherson added.

The acting municipal manager, Reginald Smit addressed the staff of the Caves on Thursday 20 May 2021 to give assurance that the Caves will not be privatised and that no personnel will lose their job, notwithstanding the current financial position of the Caves. Smit has, however, indicated that the current position does not warrant overtime payment during this period.

“To try and misuse the caves for political gain is irresponsible and defeats the aim to protect our heritage as an international icon. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Fish Mahlalela, and I agreed during his visit at the Cango Caves on 15 May, that all three spheres of government and the private sector must ensure the future of this icon for all our people,” Macpherson said.