Spread Lottery Payouts More Evenly
Parliament supports the disbursement of national lottery grants “to reach as many people as possible,” members of the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations told the National Lotteries Board (NLB) this week.
“The manner in which these funds are distributed needs to be improved and accelerated, to ensure that organisations in the previously disadvantaged provinces benefit,” was the Select Committee’s message.
The NLB revealed that since the inception of the payouts, distribution to provinces such as Northern Cape had never met the 5% threshold prescribed by the Lotteries Act. The Act stipulates that “grant disbursements to each province should be not less than 5%” of the allocation by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).
The Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, Mr Alfred Nevhutanda, said fund payouts to the Northern Cape had been around 2% for the past three financial years. Mpumalanga and North West, also struggling provinces, had received payouts in the region of 3%, although in total the disbursement to these provinces was meeting the 5 % threshold.
The Committee expressed concern that the overall Lottery distribution favoured economically sound provinces like Gauteng (32% a year) and the Western Cape (15%).
Since its inception in April 2000, the National Lottery Board has through the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) paid out more than R13bn to non-profit organizations (NPOs), mainly charities, in the arts, culture, sport and other fields.
For the 2012/13 financial year, the Lotteries Board had allocated R2.4 bn and to date R1.8 bn had been disbursed to the four sector funded via the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund.
The Committee said it understood that only six part-time board members were tasked with dealing with billions of rands. They would like to see the appointment of permanent National Lotteries Board members, as they believed this would speed up grant payouts.
“We take note of the operational and legislative challenges the Board has raised with us. We will investigate ways to speed up the whole process,” Committee Chairperson Mr Dumisani Gamede said.