Labour conferences ‘have been funded before’

2011-07-15 14:25

Labour union federation Cosatu is not the only labour movement to have received funding for a conference, the National Lotteries Board (NLB) said today.

In a statement, NLB chairman Alfred Nevhutanda said the R1-million grant for a Cosatu conference, “which included the organisation’s 25th anniversary commemorations in December 2010”, was not unique.

He said that the country’s second-largest union federation, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), had also benefited from the NLB when it was awarded R611 000 for a conference.

NLB spokesperson Sershan Naidoo said the grant to Fedusa was awarded in May for a conference to be held in November this year.

Nevhutanda was reacting to the DA’s request yesterday for the Auditor-General to probe the NLB funding of the Cosatu event.

“The grant to Cosatu was not for day-to-day operations but specifically for artists, stage and sound, venue and local groups. Cosatu applied for R6 million but was only allocated R1 million,” he said.

The Lotteries Act makes provisions for four separately operated sectors eligible for funding – charities receive 45%, arts, culture and national heritage receive 28%, sport and recreation receives 22% and 5% is allocated to miscellaneous purposes.

The requirements for funding from the NLDTF is that applicant organisations are registered as non-profit organisations, have annual financial statements, founding documents and a project budget and implementation plan.

DA spokesperson Jacques Smalle said yesterday that “it is completely inappropriate for the NLB to provide financial support to a political interest group that spent the money on a self-serving celebration”. 

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