South Africa

GROUNDUP

Lottery bows to pressure and releases grant details

Lottery bows to pressure and releases grant details
The list of lottery grants has finally been made available to Parliament. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

But information on the Covid-19 relief fund is incomplete.

First published by GroundUp.

After months of ducking and diving, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has given in to growing pressure and released details of Lottery grants that it had refused to make public:

List of NLC grants for 2018/19 as presented to Parliament on 28 July 

List of NLC Covid-19 relief grants (possibly incomplete) as presented to Parliament on 28 July

For 18 years, the NLC has included the details of grants in its annual report, until last year when it failed to publish them, citing a section of the Lotteries Act that it said forbade it from releasing this information.

The lists were tabled before Parliament by Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday 28 July. In an accompanying letter, Patel made it clear that he believed the information should be public.

The decision to release the information came after an abrupt about-turn by ANC members of Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Competition Committee, who had previously defended the NLC.

The NLC’s refusal to publish the lists had led to “engagement by both the Ministry and Parliament to have the NLC publicly release the List of Projects Funded,” Patel said.

The NLC also released some details of recipients of a R150-million Covid-19 relief fund for struggling non-profit organisations that it had refused to make public. But the details on the list handed to Parliament are incomplete, as the total only adds up to just over R21.8-million. There was no explanation for the absence of details about the remaining R128.2-million, whether it had been disbursed at all or which organisations had received this money.

“It is my view that the NLC accounts must be open and transparent and that the public is entitled to know the beneficiaries of the monies that the NLC manages on behalf of the people,” Patel said in his letter.

 “It is a norm that the List of Projects Funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) would have also been published in their annual reports.”

Mat Cuthbert, Democratic Alliance deputy shadow minister for Trade, Industry and Competition, who was instrumental in fighting for the release of the lists, welcomed the release of the information.

“The DA still remains resolute in its belief that the NLC has committed a crime by having withheld this information from the public domain for such a long period of time,” he said in a media release.

“The NLC’s conduct in this matter has reinforced the impression that it is beset by a crisis of leadership,” Cuthbert said, reiterating an earlier call to Patel to fire the chairman of the NLC Board, Alfred Nevhutanda, the commissioner, Thabang Mampane, and the entire NLC board. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.