A row involving almost half a billion rand of taxpayer's money is looming as an investigation is launched into the finances of the Phakisa Raceway, in Welkom, and its CEO, Bobby Hartslief.

A row involving almost half a billion rand of taxpayer's money looms as an investigation is launched into the finances of the Phakisa Raceway, in Welkom, and its CEO, Bobby Hartslief.

On Thursday, the Free State legislature's Public Accounts Committee called for an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit into alleged mismanagement of resources.

Since 2000, the MotoGP has been hosted at Phakisa at the Free State government's expense. After spending more than R420 million, the income generated has amounted to a dismal R7,7 million.

The regional government has said that it would not be paying for the upcoming Grand Prix in April.

The local government built and maintains the track, pays the licence fee of around R50 million a year, and markets the Grand Prix. However, TV rights and gate takings go to promoters and organisers like Dorna and Racemakers. Besides the licence fee, the tax payer is burdened with interest of over R27 million on unpaid debts.

The April Grand Prix will still go ahead as scheduled with no-one to cover the bill. The payment of the multi-million rand licence fee will be decided in court.

Original article from Car