Report damns lottery board on funding

2011-03-30 13:44

Cape Town - The National Lottery Board (NLB) and the National Development Agency (NDA), two statutory bodies tasked with distributing funds to poverty relief organisations and charities, are failing in their mandates.

This is the main finding in a research report - compiled by the Funding Practice Alliance (FPA), a grouping of four civil society organisations (CSOs) - released on Wednesday.

The report, entitled Meeting their Mandates?, found that the NDA, established to eradicate poverty by granting funds to CSOs, has "been unable to disburse funds adequately, and its funding practices cannot be described as developmental".

It found that between 2003 and 2008, the NDA - which reports to parliament through the minister of social dDevelopment - disbursed only 56% of available funds.

"Another key area of concern has been the NDA's lack of accountability and transparency. (Its) activities have been shrouded by a veil of secrecy, and the agency has not accounted effectively for how it distributes funds or identified who the recipients of grants have been.

"It has been accused of corruption and fraud on several occasions, but senior management has never been called to account."

The report said this lack of transparency extended to beneficiaries.

"No complete list of its beneficiaries and no details of funds disbursed have been made available on the NDA website or in its annual report.

"This calls into question whether the agency is using its grant-making role in a fair and equitable manner."

The NDA's refusal to participate in the FPA's research project "confirms the impression of a lack of openness and, further, resistance to being held accountable, especially by civil society", the report said.

In an introduction to the NDA's latest (2010) annual report, the agency's board chairperson Malusi Mpumlwana said his organisation "funded 77 projects for an amount of R96m" during the year under review.

Turning to the NLB - which administers the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLTDF), from which grants must be allocated and disbursed to charities - the FPA research report stated it is "riddled with ineffective and sometimes confusing lines of communication".

A consequence of this is that "nobody associated with the National Lottery grant-making has been held accountable for the NLB's inability to disburse funds effectively and efficiently to CSOs".

Interviews with CSOs indicated that it sometimes took the NLB more than a year to process applications for NLDTF funds.

"Those organisations which have been awarded grants have had to wait a further six to 12 months for the money to be disbursed.

"The impact of this inefficiency has been catastrophic, with some CSOs having to retrench staff or close.

"The NLB has disbursed less than 50% of the available National Lottery funds in each of the last three years," it said.

The 2010 financial statements of the NLDTF, contained in its annual report, indicate that net grant allocations for that year totalled R3.27bn.

The FPA report's findings and conclusions said that "neither the NDA or NLB are sufficiently accountable to credible, independent oversight institutions to which the public have access".

On the NLDTF's miscellaneous funding category - one of five to which monies are allocated - the report said there is no public accountability mechanism in place to hold the trade and industry minister accountable for grant-making decisions in respect of this particular fund.

On the NDA, it said it is "apparent that this agency sets its own development agenda, which shifts and changes directly in line with government policy and approach".

The report further found both the NLB and NDA, but particularly the NDA, "spend heavily on administrative costs".

It said there are no measures in place to determine a reasonable proportion of allocated funding for each agency to cover operational overheads.

"The NDA's current use of more than 50% of its annual allocation to cover operational costs demonstrates that urgent steps need to be taken towards improving the flow of funds to worthy projects, enhancing cost effectiveness, and encouraging public accountability," the report said.

The four CSOs which make up the FPA are: the Social Change Assistance Trust; Rural Education Assistance Programme; Community Development Resources Association; and, Inyathelo, the SA Institute for Advancement.

  • Grant beeton - 2011-03-30 14:10

    What do you expect in SA... they are stealing the money again!!

  • MarcusMagnus - 2011-03-30 14:22

    I have never spent a cent on the lotto and never will

  • bill - 2011-03-30 14:42

    Another rotten corrupt gravy train for ANC cadres

  • Wacko - 2011-03-30 14:43

    The long graivy train is still running................

  • Belisarius - 2011-03-30 14:50

    From personal experience I can agree with every word of this report. And it just scratches the surface - but this level of corruption and incompetence is so general and widespread through any governmental or non-governmental agency affected by ANC oversight/deployment that there is little point to even commenting on it. To make matters worse, the day the ANC stand to lose power in a general election, is the day this country officially ceases to be a democracy. Zimbabwefication uber alles ... it seems.

      Freakfloyd - 2011-03-31 09:51

      The day ANC ceases to govern is the day this country will return to democracy status, the preent form is that of a Kleptocracy, everyone in power steals as fast and much as posssible.

  • Rapier - 2011-03-30 14:54

    Where does all the financial mess and jerrymandering end?

  • Tc - 2011-03-30 15:02

    He he he! Glad I am not donating any money to lottery!

  • Kat - 2011-03-30 15:09

    This is a disgrace. Corruption like all other spheres of government. 50% goes to admin costs - how many of those salaried workers are 'working'. Boikot the lottery.

  • Valis - 2011-03-30 15:34

    Same old, same old.

  • RTG - 2011-03-30 15:54

    Come on though, the only reason people buy lottery tickets is to get rich, it has nothing to do with philanthropy! It is however making a whole load of goverment tied individuals richer than the people who play!!

  • Gordon - 2011-03-30 16:22

    This will never stop, SA is so corrupt now we are boyond help, Thank you ANC for making the struggle a waste of time.

  • The Observer - 2011-03-30 16:49

    We'll I could have told you this without any report. One for you one for me, one for me and one for me.

  • Monica - 2011-03-30 19:14

    They were quick to give funds to Bafana Bafana; what about the poor!!

  • Sword&Cross - 2011-03-31 08:27

    The racist ANC cadres treat every source of funding as a "Pot of Cash at the end of the Rainbow" and have stripped this rainbow so much that there isn't even a charred piece of dust left, MEANWHILE the racist leadership run amock around the world trying to gain credence that they are doing the right thing by being even more racist than the racist regime that they finally managed to overcome in 1994 BUT SOON TO SURPLANT AS AN EVEN WORSE RACIST REGIME. Essop Pahad, so narrow minded convinced that all whites MUST SUFFER PAIN. Motlanthe trying to hoodwink the world in USA that Affirmative Action is necessary (and that no blacks have ever befriended whites EVER). zuma - tacitly insulting the opposition and leadership while FLOODING his own family with unwarranted riches from the nations pocket for hundreds of years into the future. THESE DICTATORIAL BLACK ISSUES MUST BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY AND REVERSED ENTIRELY. International assistance is demanded RIGHT NOW.

  • paulf - 2011-03-31 11:36

    Boycott the Lotto people. it's a fase in anyway. Your chances of winning is virtually zero.

      Siener2 - 2011-03-31 13:18

      Are you perhaps looking for the word *farce*?

  • Ekenechukwu - 2011-03-31 13:12

    @ Kahki Boshoff, have you been to war before? it is not movies but reality that is not good to witness in one's life. you don't know anything about civil war, keep your opinion to yourself!!!!!!!!

  • AndV - 2012-01-20 14:14

    Not a surprise, but why are they not held accountable? They are a disgrace to SA in a time when the need from the poor are so high. How do these despotes sleep at night?

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