Lottery gets rebranded

2015-06-29 14:08
Lotto gets a rebranding. (Mary-Ann Palmer, Foto24)

Lotto gets a rebranding. (Mary-Ann Palmer, Foto24)

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Benoni - The National Lotteries Board on Monday relaunched as the National Lotteries Commission to enhance the national lottery for players and grant applicants.

''It is more than a new name,'' said Charlotte Mampane, commissioner of the NLC.

''It is a renewed commitment to being the catalyst for social upliftment,'' said Mampane, who was the CEO of the NLB before the rebranding.

She said the launch marked a ''new dawn'' for the 16-year-old organisation, which had distributed close to R20bn so far.

The rebranding also follows the controversial change of operator from Gidani to Ithuba on June 1, which has left many punters complaining that they are battling to get their tickets for the draws.

Glamorous event

Guests at the glitzy launch in a huge tent in Benoni, included councillors, princesses, kings and traditional leaders from provinces including Limpopo, Free State, the Eastern Cape, as well as Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, whose arrival was heralded by a praise singer and ululation.

Mampane said the amendment of the National Lotteries Act would bring tangible services, with beneficiaries and applicants feeling the benefits of its pledge to a 120-day turnaround time for grant applicants.

Because South Africans face different challenges, it will have different grants for different circumstances and the commission hopes to fund causes in a proactive way.

Monitoring and evaluation would also be improved.

''We cannot allow funds for good causes to be used otherwise,'' she said.

Gordon McDonald, speaking on behalf of the charity distributing agencies appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry, said adjudication was not easy and it ''sometimes breaks your heart'' when applicants submit the incorrect information for their funding.

Social upliftment

During proceedings, the Music Academy of Gauteng, led by Johnny Mekoa, included Abdullah Ibrahim songs in its repertoire, while the bare-breasted traditional dancers from the Nyavhumbwa wa Dagailu cultural village in Venda joined the ululations.

Huge balloons resembling lottery draw balls hung from the ceilings and the tables were decorated with arrangements of white roses and gold table cloths.

Guests were surprised by a performance from veteran trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, playing Flowers of the Nation.

Mekoa said that when the lottery came on board for the academy, everything changed for the aspiring musicians, many of whom could not afford to buy a saxophone.

''They have really helped us achieve,'' he said. With lottery funds they built a library and a recording studio for the young musicians who use the facility, some of whom may have been on the streets taking drugs without the discipline and hope that music provided.

''They found something to hold onto, to life,'' said Mekoa, thanking the lottery for helping them.

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