Lotto Funding Crisis: Struggle to Hold NLB Accountable

The frustrations experienced by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) when applying for lotto funding came under spotlight when a group of NGOs marched to the National Lotteries Board (NLB) offices on 27 January 2012 in Pretoria.

The march highlighted NGOs’ concerns regarding the Lotto which are well-documented in a study undertaken by the Funding Practice Alliance, the class action to the Western Cape High Court and other related issues.

Shelagh Gastrow of Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement argues that the march highlighted the growing national anger over the way the NLB distributes public funds. Gastrow slammed the NLB for its “Epic failure of the board to fulfil its stated mandate to distribute funds to NGOs that make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially the most vulnerable.”

The situation has also irked the fury of the opposition, Democratic Alliance, which expressed the view that there is a ‘growing trend’ where needy charities are being overlooked by the NLB in favour of African National Congress-aligned organisations. The DA also questions the way board members of distributing agencies are appointed.

Meanwhile, government’s intention to amend the National Lotteries Act to speed up the processing of applications for funding is an encouraging step in the right direction. However, we hope that such amendments will translate in the removal of existing bottlenecks.

Below are some of the articles previously published on NGO Pulse in relation to the Lotto issue:

We invite NGO Pulse readers to share with us their views about the Lotto funding situation and its implications for the sustainability of many NGOs. Comments and articles should be e-mailed to


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