• Thinking Is Overrated...

    In the past few weeks, there has been yet another huge public outcry on the functioning of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and this has provoked a range of talk (and a lot of hot air too) about how we can go about fixing things to make one of the larger national development funders in South Africa, work better. This talk and the occasional Business Day op-ed have however failed to look at the bigger picture of the development landscape and how that aspect affects not just the NLDTF or the National Development Agency (NDA) but the manner in which we build the post-1990 envisioned development state.
    In attempting to deal with any process to improve the functioning of the NLDTF or the NDA, it may be prudent to acknowledge the (very large) elephant in the room, which is the obvious lack of any sort of comprehensive social service and development legislation in South Africa that provides for the holistic location of both agencies as well the myriad of other public and private sector funding in the country. The lack of this overarching legislative framework for bringing the developmental state agenda to life, is the key to unlocking the value of both agencies as well as a host of the other good and great initiatives that seek to build a more just and equitable society[1].
    Thus any recommendations and conclusions to improve the NDA and NLDTF need to be understood in the context of what else is needed to ensure that this situation of a poorly functioning national development agency and a misaligned national lottery funder, are both fixed and not repeated in the way we develop and implement future initiatives to realise the ideals of the Freedom Charter and Constitution. The social, cultural and economic rights[2] of the people of SA are central to the way we think about and implement the programmes and policies that seek to meet and exceed those rights.

    On a macro level, we need to commence a dialogue about the nature of the social compact to meet and exceed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and ensure greater prosperity for all who live here. The state has claimed ownership of the developmental state and finding ways for civil society to engage meaningfully and constructively are limited. Admittedly, this is a reality of past and current modalities of engagement, but if we are looking to move ahead, then we need to be clear, as a nation, that civil society is not a secondary partner in this process. It is a collaborative relationship, where partners are engaging, on the ideals we seek to set and the process to achieve them.

    We must also be wary of the red herring touted by senior Department of Social Development (DoSD) officials about the lack of an apex civil society structure to engage with and thus, they “do not know who to engage with in civil society.” There are a range of current networks that can be called upon and if this is not enough, it is a simple matter to put out a public call for engagement.
    For the NLDTF and the NDA, there is a need for a piecemeal reform approach, as well as systemic change in the broad development landscape. It is possible for both these options to co-exist and given the urgent needs of the sector, we need to win space for both immediate reforms as suggested below, as well as a large-scale development priority shift.
    Piecemeal Reform:

    Better-designed regulations for both the NDA and the NLDTF are needed, with broad consultation and ideally this process should be funded by the respective entities but managed by civil society. In this fashion, we will have developed regulations that not only improve the functioning of the entities but are also owned by the people affected by them[3].
    We need a separate board for the NLDTF, to oversee the mandate of the NLDTF and ensure compliance with that mandate. This board will also serve to ensure that civil society is both represented and equally accountable for the success or failure of the NLDTF to meet its lofty mandate.
    We also need the Advisory Board for Social Development (Act 3 of 2001)[4] also needs to be appointed as a matter of critical urgency. It is baffling to say the least, that this matter has been outstanding for 11 years now. The appointment of such a board would ensure that talent, skills, knowledge and experience of the civil society sector is shared in the process of ensuring that development in SA takes place as a collaborative process between government, civil society, business and labour.
    So while we can ‘take-on’ the NLDTF in marches and media campaigns, it will serve the interests of civil society in general, much better, if we are to focus our collective energy on working together to bring about some macro-policy shifts that will create an enabling framework for a long term developmental approach to funding of civil society organisations at the coalface of delivery and those engaged in the process of constant innovation, not just of service delivery but of our thinking too.

    - Rajesh Latchman is the Coordinator of the National Welfare Forum, Volunteer Convenor of GCAP South Africa, guerrilla gardener, cyclist and an unreformed recycler. He writes in his personal capacity.

    [1] The need for an over-arching legislative framework for social services, National Welfare Forum, 2010 accessible on the following link
    [2] Understanding the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, Coalition for ICESCR ratification, 2010 accessible on
  • Call for Comments on the Draft Lotto Bill

    The Department of Trade and Industry is calling for public comment on the draft Lotteries Amendment Bill.

    This follows an announcement by Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, at the recent National Lotteries Board conference that government has launched a review of the Lotteries Policy Framework which he said will lead to the introduction of a lotteries Amendment Bill.

    Davies also stated that his department wanted to make a number of changes to the Act as well as further regulatory reforms.

    The deadline for submission of comments is 7 June 2013.

    For more information or to submit your comments, refer to


  • 2013 Call for Applications: National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund - Arts, Culture and National Heritage Sector

    National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, April 12, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Call for proposals
    The Distributing Agency for Arts, Culture and National Heritage, established in terms of the Lotteries Act (No. 57 of 1997), is in a position to consider applications for funding from the proceeds of the National Lottery in a targeted call for applications aligned to regulations published in Government Gazette No. 33398.

    Items 2 and 3 of part 1 of Gazette No. 33398 states that:

    “(2) The priorities for distributing the funds must contribute to developmental needs, enhancement of social and moral responsibility, and economic viability of programmes designed to advance rural, under privileged and poor communities.
    (3) Of the total allocation available for distribution by a distributing agency at least 50% shall be directed towards the following priority areas:
    • Support for courses designed to protect and promote traditional knowledge and cultural expressions;
    • Promotional work of arts and craft produced by groups of disabled people and women; Development and preservation of cultural heritage sites for revenue generation including tourism attraction, and economic viability for the community; and /or
    • Promote and support entrepreneurial development through training of women and providing necessary infrastructure and facilities for farming projects as a primary response to economic development and reduction of unemployment levels.”
    To facilitate the adjudicating process, specific qualifying criteria are being advertised for each of the following sub-sectors: Arts, Culture, Environment and Heritage (tangible and intangible) as detailed below.

    Applications for funding are invited from CBOs, NGOs, Parastatal Bodies, Non-Profit Companies, Non-Profit Trusts, Educational Institutions, Associations or Juristic persons in the Arts, Culture, Environment and Heritage sectors

    Details of required supporting documentation and information are provided in the prescribed application form as well as the 2013 Guidelines.


    Only one application per organisation will be accepted. Organisations whose application comprises of multiple projects (within the Arts sector) must ensure that only ONE application is submitted clearly identifying all the different projects.

    Registered Organisations that are not in a position to meet the requirement of signed annual financial statements for the two most recent years are requested to apply in partnership with established organisations working within the sector. There must be a signed standard NLDTF-approved Memorandum of Understanding (available with the application pack and on the NLB website) between the two parties. The established/assisting organisations can assist a maximum of three organisations.

    The NLDTF does not fund profit-making organisations like Close Corporations, Co-operatives and Pty (Ltd). Partnership arrangements between non-profit organisations and Close Corporation’s / Co-operatives / Pty (Ltd) are not permitted.

    Organisations that have received funding previously and have not submitted all outstanding Progress Reports in accordance with the Grant Agreement may not be considered.

    Please note that in this targeted call for applications, projects applied for should not be for more than 1 (one) year. Further, funding will be targeted towards applications from rural areas, with priority given to Northern Cape, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo. Furthermore, organisations which are based in poor, rural and disadvantaged communities in other provinces will also be prioritised. These projects should be designed to serve the community by developing activities specifically in the areas of Arts, Heritage (Cultural and Natural), Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Environmental projects in under-served communities.

    The Distributing Agency will consider applications in each of the above sub-sectors from organisations engaged in specific activities, as detailed below:

    1. ARTS
    • Emphasis will be on organisations across all arts genres that encourage the development and production of new, original work with a strong South African cultural focus, including, but not limited to Music, Dance, Literature, Film (documentaries), Visual Arts, Craft and Theatre;
    • Craft and Visual Arts: Indigenous Art and Craft, Fairs and Exhibitions with emphasis on development towards self-sustainability, with distinctive traditional characteristics (Up to a maximum of R10 million);
    • Performing Arts: Activities; programmes; and artistic and cultural projects that promote indigenous dance, music, theatre and storytelling with development impact to promote our African heritage (Up to a maximum of R12 million);
    • Film Production and Distribution: Funding will be made available to organisations involved in the production of Short Films and Documentaries with distinctive indigenous stories and practices (Up to a maximum of R15 million);
    • Language and Literature: Priority will be given to projects linked to organisations and institutions which aim to develop, promote, preserve and protect indigenous languages. (Up to a maximum of R10 million).
    NB: The Distributing Agency will not fund the building of infrastructure/arts centres in schools.


    Priority will be given to provincial and local heritage organisations that submit proposals focusing on the following areas:
    • Identification, Research, Documentation, Conservation and Exhibition
    • Heraldry, archives and libraries focusing on addressing past imbalances, nation building and indigenous knowledge systems
    • Indigenous knowledge systems; (cultural tradition, oral history, performance, rituals and popular memory).
    • Restoration of national heritage of significance as identified and supported by the relevant statutory heritage authority such as the National Heritage Council and South African Heritage Resources Agency.
    Organisations/Institutions for the above projects may apply up to a maximum of R15 million.


    In order to access funding, organisations should be involved in one or more of the focus areas such as following:
    • Waste management and clean-up operations that create economic activity and environmental protection;
    • Environmental protection: e.g. planting of trees to create environment awareness programmes;
    • Growing and preservation of medicinal plants;
    • Projects focusing on the green economy (permaculture and bio-energy);
    • Protection of indigenous animal and plant species;
    • Non-profit farming projects (livestock, poultry) e.g. purchasing of stock, facilitation and training of women farmers and youth;
    • Food security e.g. creation of fruit and vegetable gardens and food processing (preserving, canning, bottling of vegetables and fruits/juice).
    Organisations/Institutions for the above projects may apply up to a maximum of R10 million.

    The Distributing Agency will not fund the beautification and landscaping projects as well as building of lodges, schools environmental camps and tourist environmental camps.

    • Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered;
    • Faxed/electronic applications will not be accepted;
    • Applications on CD will not be considered;
    • Applications from organisations/institutions which are not registered in South Africa will not be considered.

    In order to be considered for funding within the scope described above, duly completed and signed applications on the prescribed application form (FORM 2010/1) together with all the required supporting information, as outlined in the guidelines and regulations, must reach the NLDTF by the closing date of 12 April 2013. Applicants are urged to submit their applications as early as possible.

    Organisations that meet the criteria as set out above are invited to obtain an Application Pack from the NLB website - or obtain a hard copy from:

    Central Applications Office – Arts Sector
    Private Bag X101
    Brooklyn Square


    National Lotteries Board Information Centre
    Block B, Hatfield Gardens
    Corner Hilda and Arcadia Streets

    Telephone: 08600 NLDTF (65383)

    Please note that application packs will not be faxed or e-mailed to applicants.

    The Distributing Agency for Arts, Culture and National Heritage reserves the right not to make any allocations.

    Application forms are free.

    For more about the National Lotteries Board, refer to

    To view other opportunities, visit
  • 2012 Call for Applications: National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund - Charities Sector

    National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Wednesday, December 12, 2012
    Opportunity type: 
    Call for proposals

    The National Lotteries Board (NLB) was established in terms of the Lotteries Act (No 57 of 1997) to regulate the National Lottery as well as other lotteries, including society lotteries to raise funds and promotional competitions.

    The Distributing Agency for Charities is once again in the position to consider applications for funding from the proceeds of the National Lottery.

    In adjudicating the applications, the Charities Distributing Agency will focus on the following areas:

    • Expansion of home-based care services through training and infrastructure development for the aged, sick, vulnerable as well as orphaned children, the disabled and rehabilitation homes, so as to enhance the standard of living in rural, underprivileged and poor communities;
    • Provision of educational facilities designed to enhance literacy through early childhood education, adult literacy, vocational training and mentoring for skills development that includes the disabled persons. c) Social welfare developmental programmes.
    • Individual organisations will be considered for a grant of up to a maximum of R2 million; and
    • National organisations working in more than four provinces may apply for a maximum of R5 million.
    The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NDLTF) will give preference to applications from organisations that advance rural, under-privileged and poor communities that support transformation and development.
    Applications will be considered from registered charitable organisations that submit all the required documents and information as outlined in the 2012 Charities Guidelines.

    Emerging registered organisations that do not have the required two years’ annual financial statements may apply in partnership with an established organisation that has been previously funded by the NLDTF and meets all the funding and reporting requirements. Established organisations are allowed to partner with a maximum of two registered emerging organisations, each requesting a maximum grant of R200 000.

    Applications from family trusts and organisations with a commercial focus will not be considered.
    Applications from Schools (public and private), Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges and HEI’s (universities) will also not be considered.
    All applicants must comply in all respects with the prescribed application form (Form 2010/1) and the 2012 Charities Guidelines by submitting all the required documents in the prescribed format and by the advertised deadline.

    Applicants are urged to submit their applications as early as possible.

    The following applications will be considered for funding:
    • Late applications;
    • Incomplete applications, where all mandatory documents are not submitted;
    • Applications not on the prescribed Form 2010/1;
    • Faxed or e-mailed applications;
    • Applications on Compact Disc (CD);
    • Applications from applicants that have not submitted all the required Progress Reports, on any previous NLDTF funding.
    For previously funded organisations, the Income Statements in your financial statements must reflect the amount received from the NLDTF as a separate line item. [This is a condition of the Grant Agreement].

    The prescribed application form (Form 2010/1) and the 2012 Charities Guidelines are available from:

    National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund

    Head Office Physical Address:

    Hatfield Gardens, Block B
    Corner Hilda & Arcadia Streets,
    Hatfield, Pretoria
    Tel: 08600 65383

    Postal Address:

    Central Applications Office
    Private Bag X101
    Brooklyn Square, 0075

    Polokwane Offices:

    No 5 Landross
    Mare Street
    Tel: 015 299 4660

    East London Offices:

    Shortmill House
    Quarry Office Park
    Selborne, East London
    Tel: 043 711 5000

    In order to be considered for funding within the scope described above, duly completed and signed applications together with all required supporting information, must reach the NLDTF no later than 12 December 2012.

    The NLDTF reserves the right not to make grants or decide on the amount to be allocated.

    For more about the National Lotteries Board, refer to

    To view other opportunities, visit


  • Response by Coalition on Civil Society Resource Mobilisation to Lotto Crisis

    Since 2010, a coalition of concerned civil society organisations (see below) has studied, researched and engaged with politicians and officials in both National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) - ‘the Lotto’, and the National Development Agency (NDA) on various aspects of governance structures and operations of these agencies.

    Recent developments including court judgements last year and usurped powers of a Distribution Agency as well as the withdrawal of agreed funding from various non-profit organisations lead us to issue a public call to:

    • Seriously and immediately review the developmental aid architecture in South Africa as a matter of urgency – especially in as far as this relates to resourcing of civil society organisations working for the public good.  Preferably such a review should be undertaken by the National Planning Commission (NPC) as the body charged with the realisation of the achievement of a developmental state;
    • Require the Public Protector as a matter of urgency, to thoroughly investigate and report within 90 days on whether the NLDTF has eroded its legislative mandate, powers and obligations under the Act, and whether the Agency has failed to carry out its function to support nonprofit organisations in South Africa.  The Public Protector should also investigate a report on whether the unilateral decisions made by the agency are in the interests of the South African people and civil society organisations which seek through various interventions to alleviate poverty, hunger and misery in various communities of our country.
    The organisations undersigned stand ready to assist in both these interventions and no doubt other like-minded patriotic South Africans will also commit to do so.

    The Lotto in South Africa has a unique history and mandate.  It is an instrument of the people’s will to support, encourage and eliminate the scourge of many of apartheid’s ills. It cannot today be converted into an agency which acts unilaterally, without the consent of the people to achieve its legislated mandate.  This is a betrayal of the urgent and desperate need of the poor and the hundreds of civil society organisations which work to alleviate and minimise the desperation of our people.

    For further comment contact Phiroshaw Camay, Mobile: 082 886 5886.

    Issued by:
    To view other NGO press releases, refer to

    Date published: 
    CAF Southern Africa, Co-operative for Research and Education, SANGONeT, Legal Resources Centre, National Welfare Social Service & Development Forum, CIVICUS
  • Joint Media Statement by the National Lotteries Board and Child Welfare South Africa

    This is a joint media statement by the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA) relating to certain media comments made by Prof Vevek Ram, the CEO of NLB at a Parliamentary briefing.

    In his briefing, Prof Ram expressed concern that applicants showed an increased dependence on funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). This was evidenced by a noticeable reduction in the number of funders featured in financial statements of applicants.

    The NLB would like to inform the public and other role-players that no media attended the NLB presentation to the Parliamentary committee. Extracts from the recording of the briefing were then used by certain media to publish articles which did not provide a proper context or afford the NLB an opportunity to comment before publication of statements attributed to it.

    The NLB recognises the valuable and essential services provided by welfare organisations, like CWSA, across South Africa that supplements the services of Government. The support of the NLDTF for organisations like CWSA, its affiliates and the more than 15 000 other NGOS funded by the NLDTF is important in delivering services to South Africans, especially the vulnerable.

    Prof Alfred Nevhutanda, Chairperson of the NLB said, “The NLB recognises and accepts that we have a clear mandate under the Lotteries Act to make funds available to applicants who follow correct procedure and meet prescribed requirements. The Board also regrets the perception created in the media that CWSA is becoming more and more dependent on NLDTF funding and that it has “completely stopped all other fundraising.””

    As a result of the NLB information-sharing roadshow across South Africa in 2010, the number of applications for funding has risen drastically. In the Charities sector alone, the number of applications has more than doubled from 4 000 in 2010 to more than 8 500 in 2011.

    In 2010/11, the Charities sector allocated R1,7 billion to over 1 500 beneficiary organisations. The funds available for the Charities sector for 2011/2012 is R790 million.

    Professor Dasarath Chetty, President of Child Welfare South Africa, said “Child Welfare South Africa values the role that the NLB plays in supporting development in South Africa and in tackling the complex social problems that we as a country face. Child welfare organisations across the country rely on donor funds to deliver statutory and other services. In the present economic climate it would be extremely difficult for CWSA’s 263 member organisations and outreach projects to continue to deliver quality service to the community without the financial support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, a partnership that is directly in line with addressing national priorities.”

    The NLB and CWSA emphasises their commitment to providing assistance and programmes to children in need.


    Issued by:

    Aqula Creative Communications on behalf of National Lotteries Board and Child Welfare South Africa

    For any further information, interviews or photos contact:

    Ms Charlotte de la Harpe on +2778 211 6701 or email:

    Or Contact

    Sershan Naidoo – Spokesperson of the National Lotteries Board 012 432 1303 or

    Ashley Theron - CWSA National Executive Director +2711 452 4110 or email



    The NLDTF relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act and regulations guide the way in which NLDTF funding may be allocated.

    The NLDTF wants the grants to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable, and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations.

    Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLDTF contributes to South Africa’s development.


    Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA) is an umbrella body that represents 263 member organisations and outreach projects in communities throughout South Africa. Together with its member organisations, CWSA forms the largest non-profit, non-governmental organisation in the country in the fields of child protection, child care and family development.

    The intention of CWSA is to benefit South Africa, through our endeavours to create a child-friendly society by lobbying for legislation that is child friendly and advocacy. Over 2 million children and their family members and / or caregivers receive services from CWSA affiliates, branches and developing children’s organisations countrywide. This number is growing.

    CWSA’s programmes are centred on making South Africa a safer place for children. Some of the major CWSA programmes include the Asibavikele: Let’s Protect Them programme - a national programme that facilitates community based care and support to children orphaned and made vulnerable due to HIV and AIDS in disadvantaged communities. The programme involves and relies on communities to identify Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and establish foster care and safe homes in all nine provinces.

    CWSA also runs the Isolabantwana: Eye on the Child programme - a community based child protection programme that advocates for the collaboration of communities and formal resources when protecting children against abuse, neglect and exploitation.

    For more about Aqula Creative Communications, refer to

    To view other NGO press releases, refer to

    Date published: 
    Aqula Creative Communications
  • Statement from Professor Alfred Nevhutanda, Chair of the National Lotteries Board (NLB) on the NLB Consultative Indaba

    The National Lotteries Board (NLB) today concluded a successful two-day national consultative indaba which brought together over 1 500 delegates representing South Africa’s nonprofit sector.

    The indaba afforded opportunity for delegates to review the current funding practices and priorities for funding - and to make suggestions on how the future of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) could be shaped to better serve the development needs of the community and our country.

    The NLB appreciated the manner in which matters were raised and discussed in the individual breakaway commissions and the constructive inputs received. 

    Recommendations from the NLB national indaba, 21 June 2011


    The National Lotteries Board (NLB) held a two-day national indaba on 20- 21 June to meet with stakeholders from the nonprofit sector and review priority areas for funding as well as the current funding model in order to achieve maximum impact.

    Priority areas for funding

    Delegates suggested a range of categories in addition to those being funded currently.

    Job creation, alignment of funding with government priorities and the funding of projects with income-generating potential were specific themes which emerged during discussions.

    South Africa’s development needs have to be seriously considered when adjudicating applications and allocating funding.

    Priority should also be given to emerging organisations especially in areas which historically did not have access to funding, for example the far rural corners of our country and to branches of large established NGOs so that the communities working with grassroots organisations are afforded maximum benefit. Capacity should be enhanced within smaller organisations that experience difficulty with accessing lotto funding.

    The delegates suggested that the NLB considers funding SMMEs and co-operatives who are currently excluded because of their profit-making status. Whereas it was accepted that sometimes the NLDTF cannot approve funding for the entire requested amount and instead allocates only a portion of the requested amount, it was suggested that whatever funding was made available be done in a manner that allows for crucial operations and enables the beneficiary to further fundraise.


    The members of the Distributing Agencies should be appointed on a full-time basis for a period of three to five years in order to streamline and speed-up the adjudication process.

    Decentralisation of the application process with interventions such as localised help desks might provide the means to improve the level of applications by screening and short-listing of applications to ensure compliance with requirements.

    The work of the Distributing Agencies must be done in accordance with clear reporting lines since the DAs work with the NLB but report to the Minister of Trade & Industry.

    While it was recognised that the time between approval of application and payment has been significantly reduced, the same should be done from application to adjudication. Therefore clear timelines for the adjudication process should be determined and communicated in a transparent manner to applicants. This will assist the organisations in their planning. These steps should be coupled with more regular feedback to applicants to alleviate some of the frustrations that might be experienced. An electronic application tracking service is in the process of being implemented.

    Within each sector, two application calls should be made annually.

    Separate application requirements should apply to smaller applicants as current processes are cumbersome and restrictive.

    Larger organisations with an established funding track record at the NLDTF should be allowed to access multiple year funding in order to reduce having to resubmit a whole application pack with each call. This will also help maintain project continuity.

    Delegates felt that the NLB may not fit too well within the mandate of the DTI and that an alternative “home” for the NLB within government should be identified.

    Interaction with government departments and other funders should be instituted to identify crossovers between NLDTF and other funders to prevent “double-dipping” (when organisations access funding for the same project from more than one funder).


    Delegates felt that the NLB should increase the budget allowed for administration purposes (currently 2.4%) in order to capacitate the staff to serve the applicants’ needs better. Interventions such as staff training and assigning dedicated project officers to applicants were recommended.

    The national structure of the NLB is answerable for overall operations. However, greater capacity should be allowed for in the provincial structures to contribute to the work and decision-making within the NLB – thereby reducing the volume of non-compliant applications.

    There should be a clear identification of the appeal process that applies to declined applications.

    Governance and risk

    The opportunity to defraud the system was identified as a great risk to the NLDTF.

    A number of measures were recommended to manage these risks:
    • Stronger monitoring and evaluation of funded projects. This may entail decentralisation of monitoring function to provincial or local teams, so that monitoring and evaluation can happen on an ongoing basis;
    • Reporting methods should be simplified and streamlined, including a financial template, so that beneficiaries can comply with the requirement easier;
    • Monitoring interest earned while grant is in beneficiaries’ bank accounts. Currently, interest has to be returned to the NLDTF.
    It would be beneficial to close the gaps between the NLB and recipient organisations through the establishment of engagement forums.

    The applicants need to align themselves with the requirements of the PMFA.

    Risks experienced by beneficiaries include that their board members sometimes double-up as staff members, or that board or staff members act as service providers to their organisation.

    Fundraisers were identified as a means of reducing the amount that goes to actual projects since fundraisers solicit applications in the guise of approved NLDTF agents and charge high amounts for submitting applications.

    Accountability of the Distributing Agencies to the NLB should be ensured through the deployment of an oversight committee for the distribution of funds. This will address issues of the conflict of interest of Distributing Agencies.
    The delegates welcomed the NLB’s initiatives to introduce a fraud hotline, which is being finalised.

    • Redefine the function of the Distributing Agencies, NLDTF and the NLB - roles, focus areas and accountability;
    • The re-examination and broadening of categories in terms of numbers and distribution;
    • Differentiation: match complexity of the process and the ask to the complexity and the process inter alia: smaller asks - a simpler process;
    • Capacity building and mentoring of smaller organisations, or form partnerships to access NLDTF funding;
    • Reinforce integrity through internal controls. Minister of Trade and Industry: development and formulation of Code of Conduct (to handle these types of conflict - may include Ombudsman);
    • Further investigation on the matter of natural persons;
    • Implement quick fixes (those that do not need legislation).

    For more information contact:

    Sershan Naidoo
    Tel: 012 432 1303

    For more about National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, refer to

    To view other NGO press releases, visit:

    Date published: 
    National Lotteries Board
  • Funding in South Africa: Where Are We Heading?

    Sitting at the Lottery Indaba was an insight - but probably not in the way that Lotto intended. Instead of showing up the flaws in the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) systems, it highlighted that the root problem is amongst ourselves: amongst NGOs who are hankering after a past funding model, instead of looking forward.

    A recent report by Treasury puts most of our international donors as disinvested by 2013, 2015 at the latest. This isn't a travesty when only one percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) is foreign funding. We are a middle income country and increasingly have the capacity (and are expected to have the capacity) to fund our own social development. So we have to look internally for our funding. We have to become pro-active about sourcing our funds, marketing our work, rallying supporters to our cause.

    What was out of kilter for me at the conference was that we still seem to be stuck in the thinking that donors must give. For all of NLDTF's flaws (and there are plenty - I too have spent much time moaning about their grant management) I don't think that any donor has to give. Lotto admitted that their funds are far less this year than ever before because of less ticket sales in the recession. Instead of insisting for more money (which NGOs did), we really should acknowledge this reality - that funds are extremely shy.

    And once we’ve acknowledged this the reality is simple: that our methods of funding have to change:
    • That to survive, we are going to have to work more in partnerships;
    • That in a competitive environment, we are going to have to demonstrate our value to funders, to our audience, and to our peers through excellent monitoring, that is not just about numbers of people we reach, but about impact. (This isn't as difficult as it at first seems - it takes us back to qualitative data - the insights we get from our field work that adds such richness to our cause);
    • That we are going to have to be imaginative in our ways of generating funding: mixing our traditional methods with commercial income models, latching onto social media as an affordable way to communicate to large numbers, involving our public in a way that connects them to our cause.
    It's an exciting time: but to embrace it we have to take a creative leap. It’s easier to feel hard done by Lotto if they're not giving you funds. But rather work on the assumption that they won't, and start exploring the myriad other avenues that are starting to light up. It’s a far more sustainable path to follow.

    - Kerryn Krige is Director: Income Development and Communications at Child Welfare South Africa. This article is written in her private capacity.
  • Opening Address by Minister Rob Davies at the National Lotteries Board Conference

    Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, 20 June 2011

    Programme Director
    Chairperson Prof Alfred Nevhutanda
    CEO Prof Vevek Ram
    Chairperson of National Lotteries Board, Namibia
    MEC, Arts and Culture, Eastern Cape
    Chairperson of the Lottery Operators, Prof Bongani Khumalo
    Members of the Distributing Agencies
    Delegates to this Indaba

    It is a pleasure for me to address this important indaba of stakeholders of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. This gathering is a first of its kind and I commend the Lotteries Board for the effort in bringing together key stakeholders affected by funding from the NLDTF in order to shape the future of Lottery funding in our country.

    Today's event builds on the engagements with stakeholders initiated by the board in 2010 through information workshops conducted throughout the country. These were followed up in the past few weeks with provincial consultations. The issues raised through these interactions have been documented and will be presented later in the program.

    The National Lottery is a game of chance played by large numbers of people in South Africa. Research commissioned by the NGB tells us that this includes significant numbers of low income people. By the nature of the game playing the lottery probably involves a smaller stake out by players than is the case with other games of chance.

    Nevertheless the fact that the lottery involves payments by large numbers of members the public, including low income people, means that we have a obligation to our people to make sure that the lottery meets the public interest obligations held out when we launched it , i.e., that it distributes the good cause funds efficiently and timeously to deserving recipients and in fact that it does so more effectively than the alternative of permitting a proliferation of lottery type games run by good causes themselves or by a range of other entities.

    The good causes we expect to benefit from distribution of lotteries funds include but are not confined to charities. They include sports and Arts and Culture development, and it was also envisaged at the time the Lotto was launched that there would be an "RDP" category dealing with developmental projects and job creation.

    When I was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry in May 2009, I was confronted with a barrage of complaints about large amounts of unspent Funds, the long time taken to decide on and distribute to successful applicants, and regulations and procedures that effectively excluded smaller community based organizations that could often reach poor and needy people.

    We organised a number of Round Table discussions involving the former Board, the Distribution Agencies and officials from the Department to unpack the issues and define a way forward.

    Essentially we tried to break down the necessary reforms into three categories; (1) Administrative Actions that can be quickly carried out by the Board and the DA's to achieve efficiencies and reduce time frames, (2) Regulatory changes that could be relatively rapidly introduced in terms of the powers available under the Act as it stands, (3) Amendments needed to the Act that would inevitably take more time to effect.

    An example of an administrative reform was the streamlining of the oversight procedures under which the board checked and verified each and every decision of the DA's. Through a combination of regulation and amendment we are also seeking to replace the requirement that an applicant must submit two year's audited financial statements (sometimes not required now even of smaller companies in terms of the new Companies Act). We would also like to see a move towards an arrangement in which applications can be submitted at any time.

    I am pleased to report that the Board under the leadership of the Prof Nevhutanda has made good progress. For example, there has been major improvement in reducing the time taken between adjudication and payment to recipients. In the first 6 months of 2009, only 11% of applications were adjudicated and paid out within 3 months. In the first six months of 2010, this number had increased to 44% and I believe that the current figure is 90%. In other words, 90% of all applications adjudicated are now paid within 3 months of adjudication.

    But while our reforms to date have yielded positive results the process is not yet complete. We need to make a number of changes to the Act as well as further regulatory reforms. We have according launched a review of the Lotteries Policy Framework and we hope this will lead to the introduction of a lotteries Amendment Bill later this year.

    I have high expectations that this indaba will help us shape the way forward but I should say it will be necessary for the policy review recommendations will also need to be informed the outcomes of the consideration by Parliament of the National Gambling Commission Report, and a Regulatory Impact assessment.

    Programme Director, this exercise is not about overhauling the current legislative framework, simply for the sake of it. Where things have worked, we will not change it. There are some strong elements in the current model and the NLDTF has assisted thousands of organisations and impacted the lives of millions of people in our communities in one way or another.

    Since inception, the National Lottery has raised R12.3 Billion through ticket sales. With interest, the amount available for distribution to good causes increased to R16 Billion of which R11 Billion has been paid out in the following proportions: R2.3 Billion to 938 organizations in the Arts, Culture and National Heritage Sector, R2.7 Billion to 3564 organizations in the Sports and Recreation Sector and R5.8 Billion to 4051 organizations in the Charities Sector. Many of beneficiary organisations have been funded for more than one project bringing the total number of grants made to over 15000. A comprehensive list of these beneficiaries has been included in the conference pack. However, allow me to mention a few highlights so that we can get an idea of the broad range and extent of our funding and the people that benefit directly.

    Firstly, there have been several significant funding initiatives in the sports sector. For instance, 18 communities throughout South Africa have a lasting soccer world cup legacy in Astroturf soccer pitches funded by the Lottery to the amount of R170m. This has been accomplished through partnerships with the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) and the municipalities in which they are located.

    Through the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the lottery funds all the sports federations in the country to undertake grassroots development as well as high performance sport activities. Lottery funds are furthermore disburse to fund the participation of  our athletes to the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the All Africa Games, the Disabled Games, the International Games for the intellectually impaired and many others. Several rural schools have received funding for facilities improvement as well as for new equipment and clothing. Many sports related community recreation projects organized by local Municipalities have also received funding.

    In Arts and Culture almost every segment of the sector are recipients. For instance R54m went to the Africa Resources Trust for indigenous agricultural methods, cropping systems & soil enrichment as well as to support research for further permaculture development. Major festivals including the internationally renowned Grahamstown Festival regularly receive funding.

    R34m has been awarded to the Fuba School for a programme that aims to develop homeless children into professional artists. Museums, ballet companies and many of the professional orchestras are also recipients.

    Lastly our highest value contributions go to the welfare sector where the greatest need exists.  Here again we have funded a wide range of projects from early childhood development to home based care to HIV.

    For instance the South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO) has received over R100m over the years. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) has received over R99m and Child Welfare over R36m. The South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) has received over R12m for programmes aimed at the prevention and cure of TB. Over R24m was granted to BADISA, a church based NGO is involved in community upliftment programs. The SOS children villages and thousands of other similar organizations have also benefited.

    Each of these organizations serves hundreds of people in our communities and makes a great difference to their lives. Besides the direct impact that our grants have on the community, they also prevent the shedding of jobs in NGOs.  In many cases, new jobs are created through these grants. It is estimated that 2 jobs can be created or 4 jobs sustained for every R1m granted.

    Programme Director, it is sometimes said that there is in excess of R6 Billion lying unspent in the NLDTF. I can report that R3.2 Billion is held for future tranche payments of already approved grants and R1.5 Billion is available in the current year. I can assure everyone here that there is no R6 Billion sitting idle as revenue coming in from the Lottery and the grants going out are increasingly matched.

    Programme Director, the NLDTF is a relatively young organisation. Much has been achieved but your attendance at this forum indicates that we agree that it has the potential to achieve even more.  We need to retain the good that we are doing and to fix the elements that constrain our effectiveness in respect of greater social impact and greater alignment with national priorities.

    While we are clear that funding from the National Lottery is separate and distinct from Government funding, we need to avoid pulling in different directions. The greatest impact will be achieved where there is synergy and coordination.

    In your deliberations later today, Ladies and Gentlemen, when you make inputs gleaned from your own experiences, I would ask you to consider several important attributes of nation building that will assist in achieving the required alignment.

    As you are aware, Government has agreed on 12 outcomes as a key focus of work between now and 2014. Each outcome has a limited number of measurable high-impact priority outputs and sub-outputs with targets. In turn, each output is linked to a set of activities that will help achieve the targets and contribute to the outcome. Each of the 12 outcomes has a delivery agreement which in most cases involve all spheres of government and a range of partners outside government.

    The NLDTF, as a partner, is already contributing to several of these outcomes such as Improved Quality of Pre School Education which is Outcome 1, Poverty alleviation and a healthy life for all which is Outcome 2, Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities which is Outcome 7, Sustainable human settlements which is Outcome 8 and Protection of Environmental and Natural resources which is Outcome 10.

    The NLDTF also contributes to the following Job Drivers: Infrastructure development, Climate Change and green economy. Rural Agriculture, Tourism and Social Economy Development

    However, these contributions are largely accidental and not by design. In our future funding model, should we not consider the level of contribution to these areas formally in the adjudication and grant award process and also in the manner in which we solicit applications?

    I am aware that funders in other jurisdictions require applicants to specify how many jobs will be created through the grant. We need to be able to move toward this type of funding where the impact of the fund is both visible and measurable. I am not convinced that this is currently the case.

    Programme Director, an important element of any social intervention is the monitoring and evaluation of our activities.  It may appear to be an insurmountable task to be able monitor twenty thousand beneficiary organisations but we need not do this alone. There are several agencies that are already on the ground in all parts of the country doing exactly that. What I'm alluding to program director, is that we need to explore partnerships with other funders and agencies who operate in the same space in order to take advantage of the coverage and also to prevent duplication and wasted resources.

    Programme Director, there are certain elements of our funding process which affect our service delivery and are administrative in nature but also require legislative changes.

    The first of this is the time it takes from application to payment. I do not believe it is fair to applicants that they have to wait an excessive time (sometimes in excess of a year) to know the outcome of their submission.  As I have said earlier, the Board has already made impressive improvements to the turnaround time from adjudication to payment which now is at 90% within three months.

    But while this turnaround is commendable, we are aware that the time from application to adjudication remains a bit of a blockage.  We know that the appointment of part-time Distributing Agencies has had an impact on turnaround times between application and adjudication and I understand that this matter has been raised in every consultative session in all provinces.

    I expect that in the breakaway sessions today you will discuss this matter further and I look forward to reviewing your recommendations in this regard. I would like to encourage you to think beyond the current structures but also to be wary of creating new unwieldy bureaucracy as an antidote.

    The second problem that was brought to my attention early on in this administration is the complicated compliance requirements to be considered for funding. I do not believe that the same requirements should be imposed on all types of applicants. The requirements should be matched with the size of the grant and the risk involved.  There should be a simplified process for small grants. We should also seriously consider whether it is fair to exclude natural persons as applicants.

    I also believe that the funding model should be flexible and not be exclusively application based. There should be opportunities for targeted interventions and rapid response processes for dealing with disasters and emergencies. We should also begin to look at partnerships and appropriate elements of social investment funding.

    The issue of conflicts of interest of people serving on the Distributing Agencies is also a challenge and the DTI is working closely with the Board to develop a code of conduct that will prevent any irregularity.

    Programme Director, I do not want to pre-empt the subject of your deliberations today and tomorrow, but is clear that all of us want to see improvements in the NLDTF funding process and our attendance bears testimony that we are serious about achieving change in a consultative manner.

    Finally I wish to again convey my appreciation to the Board for organizing this forum and I hope that you have an enjoyable and productive two days.

    Thank you.

    Issued by the DTI, 20 June 2011
  • Anyone Home? A perspective on the way we work

    Next week the NLDTF will host a national consultation in Midrand with civil society to examine the functioning of the entity in relation to it's mandate. It will hopefully provide an opportunity for real engagement as opposed to a platform for the NLDTF to tell us what it is doing...

    Funding for development and social services in any country is often a political and civic hot potato, with competing agendas and lobbies vying for space and funds for every special and normal need to be addressed. The global economic recession, which got underway during 2008, does not help the situation with severe austerity measures in place in most northern economies and job losses and negative aid allocations in many southern economies. In South Africa, with our huge and fertile population, our history of political oppression and the current state of growing inequality, it becomes something slightly more challenging to think about how we move to the ideal of social cohesion from our current status as a highly unequal society. Social services and development delivery needs to be more than a mere budget allocation. It needs to be placed at the centre of our economic policy development and should inform the budget choices beyond mere social grants.

    Currently, a social service and development budget allocation becomes an ideological debate (mostly wrongly) about the evils of neo-liberal economics and capitalism and civil society as empty ranting devoid of economic understanding. While most of this is often both true and false, what is often missed is the rather large elephant in the room, which just happens to be government and the role the state plays in entrenching inequality and throwing huge sums of money at situations it sees as problems that need delivery to be kept under control.

    It is not a shortage of money that is the problem, nor is it a shortage of willing and mostly able people to deliver the services needed and lastly, it is not an unwillingness of people to work to build their own lives and this country. What is often lacking is the ability of the holders of power to adequately engage with the people and the situations we face and work together to find solutions.

    This hallmark of the liberation-movement-as-government is highlighted by the way in which the Minister of the DTI went about creating and releasing regulations for the functioning of the National Lottery in February 2010. Civil society organisations made a call in August 2006[1] for a process to develop and implement regulations to help improve the functioning of the National Lottery. Last year (2010), this idea was taken by government and implemented, with no consultation nor any engagement with the originators of the idea and now we have largely ineffective regulations governing the functioning of the National Lottery and possibly doing much more harm than good.

    This is the real reason we have a challenge making progress on pressing social, cultural and economic rights in SA and the functioning of the National Lottery and the NDA claiming a position of authority on development solutions. The state does not hold the sole power to decide what needs to be done nor (and some would argue more importantly) how, it must be done. Solutions to challenges developed and implemented from high up are not the answers to making the National Lottery or NDA work better nor are they the panacea to job creation, housing, water delivery or the rampant xenophobia in South Africa.

    The challenges we all know, live and face on a daily basis can be addressed only if we do two things, and do them soon:

    Firstly, we need a state that fully listens, understands and acts on the needs of the populace, but also and crucially to their ideas about how these needs can be met. This is relatively easy in South Africa where there are still a reasonable number of independent civil society organisations, connected to and working with people affected by and living in poverty on a daily basis. Each independent NGO or CBO is a source of ideas that can become real solutions to the ongoing challenges of poverty, illiteracy, inequality and the general malcontent people feel (and more recently expressed as violent protest). The state needs to understand that there are differing ideas about solutions and SA is a highly localised nation. We need localised interventions that support the diversity of people and ideas in each province and municipality in partnership with NGOs and CBOs. Large-scale one-size-fits-all jobs programmes have their place too but serve little good if they are not connected to what people have to go back home to.

    Secondly, we need a state that must recognise that these self-same NGOs and CBOs, which deliver critical community based social services, are ideally positioned to be leveraged as the key service providers of such services at a much lower cost than the bloated civil service[2].

    [1] Finding win win alternatives, 2006 accessible on

    [2] White Paper for Social Welfare, 1997, Republic of South Africa p.15

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