NPOs demand audit of Lottery payments

2012-01-18 23:19

Pretoria - Non-profit organisations are demanding that grants made by the National Lotteries Board (NLB) during the past three years be subjected to a forensic audit and that board members be subjected to a lifestyle audit.

The demands are contained in a memorandum, of which Sapa has obtained a copy.

The memorandum is due to be handed to the NLB when representatives of non-profit organisations are expected to march on the NLB offices on January 27.

NLB spokesperson Sershan Naidoo confirmed that on Wednesday "we did get official notification" of the planned march.

In the memorandum the organisations ask that grants in excess of R5m be fully disclosed to the public, and that applications for grants can be submitted all year round, instead of once a year.

They call for the NLB to reduce the turnaround time for applications, including grant payments, to a maximum of 120 days.

Naidoo said: "We understand it is difficult for these charities."

He said the NLB only had R800m available for distribution to charities and that the number of charities seeking grants had risen from an average of 4 000 a year to 8 000 in 2011.

Rural areas

He said Lotto ticket sales had not kept pace with the demand from charities. Additionally, new government regulations stipulated that 50% of funding must go to charities in rural areas.

"We are there to help, but unfortunately we are not responsible for fundraising."

March organiser Sandra Millar, who also specialises in helping charities raise funds, said the frustration was not over the amount of money available, but rather over how it was distributed and, on occasion, to whom.

"It's about the abuse of power at the National Lotteries Board, the corruption, nepotism, and very questionable decisions regarding funding and the recipients."

She pointed to funding given to the National Youth Development Agency for the World Youth Festival - subsequently labelled the "kissing fest" after reports of delegates kissing, instead of doing work, were published.

A public outcry followed news that the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund had provided R40m for the festival held in December 2010 within a very short time, while many charities waited for years for significantly less money.

Events company

She said there were questions over R51m in funding for an organisation called Makhaya, "an events company which operates mainly in Eastern Europe and the fundraiser happens to be the daughter of the chairman of the NLB".

Christine Delport, the chief executive of the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation (GRCF) said she did not believe the board had the capacity to assess applications for funding.

"They tie you down in a contract to a time frame, but they don't pay according to that time frame."

She said the GRCF had four applications pending for funding. Two of those date prior to 2010. The GRCF had only received a response to one of the applications.

Shiela Gastrow, the chief executive of non-profit organisation Inyathelo - the SA Institute for Advancement - said the problem that had raised the ire of the non-profit sector was the haphazard manner in which funds were allocated.

"There is not much logic in the way funds are made available."

She said one year a charity could receive funding, but the following year there would be none.


She also criticised some of the bigger grants made by the NLB, including the R51m to Makhaya.

In a column that appeared in the City Press newspaper last year she also questioned the R58m grant given to an organisation called Impucuzeko to make a film called Iqili, which means The Crafty One.

However, Naidoo said organisations needed to plan properly when applying for grants and that each grant was considered on its merits.

"We are open to interaction with these organisations, but each grant has to be considered case by case," he said.

  • mushtaq.mahomed - 2012-01-19 01:04

    Well this was long over due.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-19 05:34

      Lotto is a sham. Poor people are fleeced, yet very little is given back to the community. Run Lotto like a public company with annual audits. I like the idea of lifestyle audits - these need to be extended to family members.

      Dirk - 2012-01-19 06:11

      Yet another can of worms. If it will be opened, is another matter

      Newsreader - 2012-01-19 07:12

      ahhhh waaant aah maaaseeedeees benzzz.

  • Max - 2012-01-19 03:04

    The LOTTO is a tax that is specifically designed to target people with the inability to do probability calculations, for that matter 95% of the population. The distribution of LOTTO funds is the most visible example of the ANC going into its modern day Robin Hood mode...stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

  • Irene - 2012-01-19 03:42

    Whatever the ANC touches turns to shyte.

  • Ben - 2012-01-19 04:01

    We have had storms, floods, droughts and pests in this country over the years, but nothing as bad as the A.N.C. has hit us before. Given time this organisation will destroy us. Calamity. Catastrophe, Disaster.

  • Grant - 2012-01-19 04:13

    I doubt we'll be seeing many comments from the trolls on this one... Come on guys try. You can always blame it on Helen Zille.

      Charles - 2012-01-19 07:32

      Or to apartheid

  • Sylvia - 2012-01-19 04:30

    Yes, we would love to know who have been the beneficiaries of all this lotto money. Not deserving charities, I'm sure.

      Sharon - 2012-01-19 07:57

      I deal with NPOs and I know it is near impossible to get money from Lotto, believe me, we have tried. That is why I was gobsmacked when I heard of the R 40m given to the NYDA for something that amounted to no more than another "party". There are so many deserving organisations out there who do amazing work for their communities, and could do so much more with adequate financing. When Lotto was created it was independent, now its just another cash cow for our government.

  • Silvana - 2012-01-19 06:16

    It's about time this Lotto bunch get audited. In fact it's way overdue. "..Lotto ticket sales had not kept pace with the demand from charities." Many of us no longer support the Lotto, because the modus operandi has been suspect for quite a while. And I do not regard the making of a film, a "ping-pong" tournament, and a youth party, charity.

      Charmaine Paterson - 2012-01-19 06:50

      Spot on, Silvana. I refuse to buy Lotto tickets for these reasons as well. It's just another slush fund for the corrupt.

      pws69 - 2012-01-19 07:08

      Agreed. I stopped playing after the ANCYL fiasco. I actually emailed Sershan Naidoo directly on that one and I am still awaiting a reply.

      George - 2012-01-19 07:34

      The audit will only be done by the anc (without maths)and will show what only they want to report

  • pws69 - 2012-01-19 06:40

    I wonder how Sershan Naidoo sleeps at night, knowing full well he is lying to the public. I wonder how the lotto board sleep at night, knowing they are depriving the poorest of the poor of badly needed funds, for their own selfish interests. Oh, that's right, they are ANC appointees, so they only care about themselves. The lotto is nothing but a piggy bank for ANC piggies. Not mentioned in the article. R20 Million to a PROFIT MAKING company promoting a Jazz festival. Yup, you guessed it, one of the companies members has a family member on the Lotto Board. The list is endless.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-19 06:43

    Not only the payments to charities, but also the draw procedures should be subjected to a forensic and IT audit. The links with Chancellor House should also be investigated.

  • pws69 - 2012-01-19 07:02

    "new government regulations stipulated that 50% of funding must go to charities in rural areas" Ok, let is analyse this statement shall we, and see how honest Naidoo is. "A company employing the daughter of the National Lotteries Board’s chairperson, scored more than R41m in lottery money to stage arts extravaganzas overseas." "The ­Grahamstown National Arts Festival received R14.3m, the Endangered Wildlife Trust R2.8m and the Rural Development Network R3.65m. All three organisations qualify for funding in the same category as ­Makhaya." Let's all sing together How the hell can we believe you? You lie, you lie, you lie.

  • Jeffrey - 2012-01-19 07:10

    Again? Ive only been back in the country a little over 8 years and this is the third time a lotto board has been subjected to scrutiny because of rampant corruption. This is why I don't both to play any more.

  • ian.rundle1 - 2012-01-19 07:10

    Another organization that abuses it's power. We need to uncove all these scum bags.

  • Newsreader - 2012-01-19 07:12

    Oh dear...... another ANC can of worms!

  • Andrea - 2012-01-19 07:45

    I was involved with an application and the arrogance of Mr Naidoo is absolutely incredible. How these people can sleep at night is absolutely mind boggling. And the thievery by family and friends is also the reason why people do not support this sham anymore. I hoep all people stop buying tickets.

  • John - 2012-01-19 07:51

    They only have 800m a year to hand out, but checking the last few weeks online figures, the difference between what they get for ticket sales, minus payouts, averages about 10m, four times a week. = 2000million a year. So if they only give 40% ( 800m ) to charities, what happens to the other 60% ? For a business selling a product with no purchases , it must all go to admin and marketing? or in their pockets. And over 5% of one years grants goes to and arts company operating in Europe ? The chairmans daughter joined this company within a month of the grant, but says she had never heard of them when they were awarded the money. So she heard of them applied for a job, went for an interview, and was selected for the job, all within a month - what a coincidence.

  • Schalk - 2012-01-19 07:56

    The Lotto is a tax on the stupid. Only stupid people play the SA Lotto because it is rigged.

  • Lesley - 2012-01-19 08:45

    Please note that Cosatu is very quiet on this topic as they also benefit. As long as they have their noses in the trough they could not care less. The lotto was set up to enrich certain Anc cadres and to be the pettycash for the ANC and their cronies.

  • mike.clery - 2012-01-19 09:23

    Anyone who still contributes to this redistribution fund for the ANC elite is crazy!

  • frank.fay1 - 2012-01-19 10:37

    Do not play the lotto .give the money to a cause of your own choice where it could do some choice.

  • Marick - 2012-01-19 12:07

    I am never surprised. The NLB should be audited, annually. The NLB also makes it a requirment that NPO's applying for funding have audited financial statements for the last two years. I wonder if this Makhaya or Impucuzeko had the same and who the auditors are? Time to google this I think. "daughter of the NLB chairman".... gets R51mil. Again, I'm not surprised. I just hope this gets investigated.

  • Tanja - 2012-01-19 14:41

    Not only is it impossible to win the lotto, but your contribution gets exproriated. You can never win!

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