Concerns about delays in the distribution of lottery funding to NGOs are once again in the news. With many NGOs already taking financial strain or having to respond to ever-increasing demands for services as a result of the economic crisis, serious questions have to be raised about the ongoing inefficiencies at the National Lottery.
The six members of the National Lottery Board each earned at least R1.2 million during the past year, while available funding was not disbursed. In the 2008/9 financial year, only R948 million of an available R3.3 billion was disbursed, in the 2007/8 financial year only R634 million of R2.9 billion was disbursed and in the 2006/7 financial year, only R792 million of R2.1billion.
At the same, more than 500 000 needy South Africans, many of them women and children, could be plunged into further desperation as many South African NGOs face a funding crisis.A recent Sunday Times article revealed that NGOs, which represent 30% of social services in the country, would have R3 billion less to spend on crucial development issues this year because of the recession.
As every sector of the South Africa economy is feeling the impact of the global financial crisis, and various measures are being considered to support the economy in this challenging time, why is the government or specialised agencies geared towards the work of the NGO sector, such as the Lottery, not considering special funding arrangements for NGOs?
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The following articles capture some of the concerns raised in recent weeks regarding lottery funding: