News24

Lottery allegations 'untrue'

2009-06-29 11:44

Johannesburg - Allegations that National Lotteries Board members each earned over R1m during the past financial year, while the board paid out only 28% of the available lottery funds to charitable institutions, have been "blown out of proportion".

This is how Vevek Ram, chief executive of the board, responded to recent reports on the matter. He told Beeld that only the board's chairperson earns about R1m per year.

Other board members are paid R300 per hour. "Board members on average earn between R15 000 and R18 000 per year. These salaries are approved by the minister of finance."

Ram said he has no knowledge about statements that Zodwa Ntuli, deputy director general of trade and industry, allegedly made to The Times last week, which said that board members' salaries will be cut since they have been slack at paying out money to charity organisations.

Ntuli told Beeld that her department had not made any statements regarding board members' salaries, and that it would be "hasty" to do so.

Surplus funds

According to Ram it is true that only 28% of the lottery's available money is being paid out, but this forms part of the lottery's surplus funds, which have been building up since the establishment of the lottery about ten years ago.

"Of the R1bn we receive annually, everything is distributed. By law we can't use the surplus funds, but are trying to obtain permission from the department to expand the distribution categories so that we can use these funds."

Charity organisations have complained, among other things, about the fact that lottery money is sometimes only paid out years later.

Ashley Theron, national executive director of Child Welfare, said their branches struggle to obtain lottery money. Rudy Joels, chair of Sasol Child Welfare, said they've had to wait for up to three years.