Midrand – Although applications for funding sometimes take too long to process, 90 percent of applications for funds from the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) are paid out within three months, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
“Currently, 90 percent [of funds] are paid out to recipients within three months of adjudication. There has been major improvement in adjudication and payment,” Davies said while addressing a first of its kind indaba for stakeholders on Monday.
It is reported that at times, it takes over a year for applicants to receive funding.
Davies said when he first took office as dti minister in 2009, only 11 percent of funds had been paid out to recipients of the fund. He applauded the lotteries board for progress made since then.
Davies was confronted with unspent funds, as well as problems with complicated compliance requirements, with which some smaller players could not comply.
The minister said these requirements should be simplified, adding that the department was looking at introducing new reforms and making amendments to existing ones.
Moreover, the dti and lotteries board were looking into ways of ensuring that there was no conflict of interest between people requesting funds and those disbursing the funds.
“The National Lottery is a game of chance … which also includes low income people,” said Davies, noting that government had the obligation to ensure funds went to charities and other bodies that promote development in the country.
He told the two-day indaba, which ends tomorrow, that a policy review process was underway.
Commenting on rumours that there was R6 billion being held back from recipients, Davies said there was no truth to this, as there was R1.5 billion available in the current financial year.
Of this R1.5 billion, R3.2 million has been approved and allocated. “There is no R6 billion sitting idle,” he said.
The indaba is a result of engagements with stakeholders stemming from last year’s provincial consultations on improving the funding model of the lotto. – BuaNews