Lotto: We are transparent

2012-01-27 14:01
Pretoria - Allegations of irregularities against the National Lotteries Board (NLB) would be thoroughly investigated, the organisation said on Friday.

Chairperson Alfred Nevhuthanda promised corrective action after receiving a memorandum from hundreds of protesters against the NLB in Pretoria.

"We trust that if these (irregularities) in the memorandum... are substantiated we can properly investigate," he told reporters.

"We seriously take allegations made in the media - claims of request(s) for bribes, losing information (about applicants), and irregular grants.

"Remedial action will be taken where needed."

Nevhutanda said there had been an unprecedented demand for funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), sparked by the current harsh economic conditions.

He said there was R1.8bn available for the 2011/12 year.

"Stakeholders need to understand that only a finite amount is available every year and this depends on the participation of the public in the lottery."

He said since the inception of the lottery in 2000, a total of R153.3bn had been allocated to more than 15 000 beneficiaries across South Africa.

Hundreds of protesters thronged the entrance to the NLB offices in Arcadia on Friday morning.

Around 400 placard-waving and singing protesters from different non-profit organisations dispersed after being addressed by Nevhutanda, who received the memorandum.

March organiser Sandra Miller said: "We are tired now... we have been waiting for six years to get fairness from NLB.

"All we are asking for is open governance. So far it has been disappointing... that's why we have come together like this."

She appealed to the protesters to avoid violence during the march.

"We are going there not to throw any stones or burn any cars. This is a peaceful march," she told the crowd.

Some placards read, "Lotto le utswetsa bahloki" [Shame on National Lotteries Board] and "Help the poorest".

At the entrance, the protesters burst into a chorus of "We want the money", blowing vuvuzelas.

On Wednesday, DA MP Jacques Smalle said there had been a growing trend of non-government bodies being overlooked in the distribution of lottery funds in favour of politically affiliated organisations.

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