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LOTTO NOT FOR POLITICAL DONATIONS (article first published : 2004-04-5)

A recent statement issued by Sershan Naidoo of the National Lotteries Board indicates:

“The National Lotteries Board would like to clarify that the recent donation made by Uthingo Management (Pty) Ltd to political parties did not come from funds earmarked for good causes.

The funds donated by Uthingo, the licensed operator of the National Lottery, were drawn from the profits they generate in terms of the Licence Agreement. The decision to make a donation to political parties is a private one and was approved by the Board of Uthingo.

The donation has no bearing on the funds accumulated in the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) for good causes and has nothing to do with the National Lotteries Board and its activities. The donation is no different to that made by other major Corporates and financial institutions.

In terms of the Licence Agreement, the five categories of good causes are as follows: Arts, Culture and National Heritage (22%); Charities (36%); Miscellaneous Purposes (5%); Reconstruction and Development Programme (15%); and Sport and Recreation (22%).

The distribution good cause monies is based on criteria outlined in the Lotteries Act.

The Licence Agreement outlines how the funds generated by ticket sales should be apportioned, viz.: Prizes (50%); Good Causes (30%); Operating Costs (15%), and Retailer Commission (5%).

Of the 15% for operating costs Uthingo Management retains 1% as profit for shareholders. The donation from Uthingo Management came from the portion that makes up shareholders profit.

The National Lotteries Board would like to stress that the only purposes for which lottery funds may be used are prescribed in the Lotteries Act.

Since the launch of the National Lottery almost R2-bn was allocated to 4 700 beneficiaries from all corners of South Africa. In the period 1 April 2003 to 28 February 2004, almost R564m has been allocated in the Charities Sector alone. This can be broken down as follows: The Aged: R74m; The Disabled: R100m; Residential Care: R43m; Early Childhood Development: R33m; Community Services: R176m; Chronic Illnesses: R68m; Drug Abuse & Crime Prevention: 24m; Feeding Schemes: R33m and Animal Welfare: R13m.

In the same period, beneficiaries in the Arts, Culture and National Heritage sector were allocated R325m and beneficiaries in the Sport and Recreation sector were allocated R219m.

The allocation process for the current financial year ends on March 31 and a full list of beneficiaries will appear in the Annual Report of the Board and also on the Board's website, www.nlb.org.za once audited by the office of the Auditor-General.”




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