The Cango Caves recently unveiled a modern R2.5 million waste water treatment plant and is set to open a new restaurant while also upgrading its ablution facilities. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – The Cango Caves recently unveiled a modern R2.5 million waste water treatment plant and is set to open a new restaurant while also upgrading its ablution facilities.

This tourist attraction, about 30km north of Oudtshoorn, draws about 250 000 visitors every year from all over the world. After being in the news four years ago for financial mismanagement, the tourist destination is taking a positive turn, and boasts a series of improvements and a facelift.

The Oudtshoorn Municipality contributed R1.5m from its own capital budget towards the improvements, while the rest was funded by provincial government.

Oudtshoorn Municipal director for technical services Chris Koch said it would be the first municipality to have a plant of this kind.

The aim of the plant is to purify the waste water on the premises and re-use the effluent for the flushing of the newly-constructed toilet block and also irrigation of the gardens.

“The existence of this plant reduces the potable water demand to the Cango Caves by approximately 3.6 million litres per year.”

He added that cost efficiency is one of the key advantages of this new plant with low maintenance costs and power consumption. 

Gerhard Cronje, director for Maskam Water, one of the companies involved in the construction of the plant, said it will be maintained by his technical team. He also assured residents that the municipal technical team that is on site is equipped to conduct maintenance when necessary.

The two other companies involved with the construction of were Tansand and WEC Consult.

Acting Oudtshoorn Mayor Noluthando Mwati said: “I would like to congratulate the technical services department for taking this bold step with the implementation of this green innovation, which can also benefit the Cango Caves in its marketing campaign. 

"We are proud to be the first municipality to use this kind of waste water treatment plant.”

Cango Caves acting operations manager Alison Moos said: “A total of 15 additional toilets will be built only for level three of the Cango Caves building. 

The new ablution facility has been designed with a dual pipe system to accommodate the re-use of the treated effluent, will consist of additional urinals, a children nappy changing room and a dedicated toilet facility for people living with disabilities.

“A new restaurant will be open before the end of September. We have awarded a tender to Kraaibosch Foods for the new restaurant; we have a year's agreement with this company, as we trust that these new developments will bring more tourists to town to boost our economy.”

Moos added that there are minor improvements of the building, including painting and small repair works that are also under way.

Cape Times