Lotto

NLB Extends Call for Input into Funding Criteria

The recent call by the National Lotteries Board (NLB) for stakeholder input to assist in identifying the focus areas for National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) funding has been positively received by major roleplayers. The input from stakeholders is streaming in steadily and the NLB has decided to extend the period for input to 22 May 2012 so that more roleplayers, especially those in outlying areas, can also use the opportunity to make valuable input.

NLB Pays Out R2bn to Beneficiaries

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has paid out over R2 billion to beneficiaries in the 2011/2012 financial year.

In a press statement, NLB chairperson, Alfred Nevhutanda, points out that while the NLB is proud of this achievement, further measures are being put in place to speed up the processing of progress reports.

Nevhutanda states that one of the reasons for the slow process is that staff had to process reports and prepare packs for meetings where funding applications were adjudicated.

NLB Honours Grant After Court Action

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has agreed to honour a R20.4 million grant it had previously withdrawn, less than a week after court papers were filed with the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

According to Adams & Adams, the law firm, this week, the NLB ‘acted swiftly’ in responding to proceedings instituted by NGO, Molteno Language and Literacy Institute.

The organisation had its grant withdrawn last year, barely a month after it was awarded.

Response by Coalition on Civil Society Resource Mobilisation to Lotto Crisis

Since 2010, a coalition of concerned civil society organisations (see below) has studied, researched and engaged with politicians and officials in both National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) - ‘the Lotto’, and the National Development Agency (NDA) on various aspects of governance structures and operations of these agencies.

Recent developments including court judgements last year and usurped powers of a Distribution Agency as well as the withdrawal of agreed funding from various non-profit organisations lead us to issue a public call to:

NGO Approaches Court Over Lotto

The North Gauteng High Court is being asked to force the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to honour a R20.4 million grant that it withdrew barely a month after awarding.

According to a press release by Adams and Adams, papers have been lodged demanding the setting aside of the decision to withdraw the grant made to the Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy.

Staff Memo Rocks Lotto

A memo by National Lotteries Board senior staff claims that former chief executive, Vevek Ram, received pay from a lottery beneficiary with the full knowledge of the board and worked as CEO for 12 years without an employment contract.

The memo from a key national lottery funding committee lifts the lid on new allegations of corruption, incompetence and illegality in the organisation that controls about R3 billion in payouts annually.

Orphans Left In Lurch

The Emndeni Skills Development and Orphan Drop-in Centre, which offers activities such as food schemes, farming, business and computer skills to 550 Soweto residents, faces financial crisis.

The Centre’s programme manager, Nomaswazi Mhlaba, who says that they have applied for Lotto funds in January last year, states that, "Normally, it takes up to six months for the whole application and funding process to be completed."

Charities Lose Funding Due to Infighting

Three nonprofit organisations in the skills, social and environmental sectors could have received R58 million had it not been for the infighting between two Lotto bodies.

However, the tensions between the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and the distributing agencies have led to a situation where several NGOs have been unable to access funds.

An internal document also reveals how the NLB reversed a decision by one of the distribution agencies to fund three of the many dependent organisations last year.

NLB Urges NGOs to Produce Proof

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has challenged NGOs and other organisations which protested at its offices to produce evidence of any corruption or irregularities at the board.

NLB chairperson, Alfred Nevhutanda, points out that, “We must be clear what the audit report they are calling for means, because we are a public entity and we are audited internally and by the Auditor-General (A-G).

Nevhutanda says that the A-G report highlighted many of factors but it never called for any forensic audit to be undertaken.

Minister Also to Blame for NLB Failure

The march by NGOs against the National Lotteries Board (NLB) showed the growing national anger over the way the NLB distributes our public funds, according to Shelagh Gastrow, one of the founders of Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement.

Gastrow states that the lack of accountability and transparency over the way the lottery operates and its random decision making, poor management and inefficient administration is devastating the essential work of many wonderful NGOs in the country.

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