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R2 BILLION TO LOTTO BENEFICIARIES (article first published : 2004-03-4)

When the first Lotto ticket was sold in the presence of President Thabo Mbeki on March 2, 2000, in Langa, no-one envisaged the impact the lottery would have on the lives of South Africans. Millions of Lotto and Scratchcard players have won prizes from a few rand to millions of rand.

Government initiated the National Lottery in order to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially the most vulnerable, and it has. Since the first allocations were made from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) in December 2000, there has been R2 billion allocated to 4,700 beneficiaries across the length and breath of South Africa.

In the last financial year alone (April 1, 2003, to February 29, 2004) approximately R1 billion has been allocated to 1,300 beneficiaries. The adjudication process continues until March 31, 2004.

The largest single beneficiary thus far has been the Children’s Hospital Trust which received a little more than R17,4 million for a new Oncology Wing and a HIV Research Laboratory at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. These finds were drawn from the Miscellaneous Purposes category on the instruction of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alec Erwin.

Major beneficiaries in the Charities sector have been the SA National Council for Child and Family Welfare, SANCA, NICRO, Project Literacy, Association for People with Disabilities, and then organisations like Mercy Aids Project, Tumelong Mission, Sparrow Ministries, Avril Elizabeth Children’s Home, Grahamstown TB Care Society, APD Goldfields, Highway Hospice, Itireleng Educational Project, Belfast Children’s Home, Ratanang Service Club and Cape Flats Development Agency as well as many branches of the SPCA.

In the Sports sector most of the funding went for the renovation and upgrading of existing sports facilities and for sports development. Some of the major beneficiaries were EP Sports Council, Athletics Free State, Swimming South Africa, KZN Athletics, Siyakhana Development Project Centre, Khai Mai Municipality and Bellville Sports Federation.

The major beneficiaries in the Arts, Culture and National Heritage Sector included the National Arts Festival, Macufe Festival, Film Resource Unit, Greenhouse People’s Environment Centre, KZN Wildlife, KZN Philharmonic, My Acre of Africa Trust, North West Arts Council, McGregor Museum, District Six Museum and Cape Town Opera.

Lists of beneficiaries up to March 31, 2003, appear in the Annual Reports of the Board and can be viewed on www.nlb.org.za

The allocation for the current financial year will be made public in the 2004 Annual Report after March 31 2004.

The National Lotteries Board would like to place on record that all this has only been made possible through the contributions of the lottery-playing public. It is also important that the beneficiaries thank the lottery players too by publicly acknowledging their grants.




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