DTI embarks on lottery education

Hordes of would-be lottery beneficiaries packed the Khwezi hall in Gugulethu.

At a workshop held in Gugulethu earlier this week, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has urged lottery beneficiaries and applicants to familiarise themselves with the functions of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and the Lotteries Act.

The focus of the workshop was on the services of NLC, the lotteries grant application process and ways to ensure that their grant application was successful.

The director responsible for Lotteries Policy and Law at the dti, Tebogo Tsotetsi, said there had been some great improvements in the Lotteries Amendment Act of 2013, such as the fast processing of the applications. She said the dti took the lotteries awareness campaign to a number of communities to educate people about the lottery and provisions of the Lotteries Amendment Act of 2013.

Ms Tsotetsi said before, there had been no proper communication with people, which had led to the public not being aware of the Lotteries Act.

She explained how the lottery operates and how the public can apply for lottery funding. “There had been a public outcry about how the lottery operates,” said Ms Tsotetsi.

As a result, she said, an indaba was held in 2013 and amendments made to the act.

She added that after the amendments to the act were signed into law, Parliament emphasised that the dti should go out and educate the public about the changes to the Lotteries Act.

Ms Tsotetsi explained that there are distribution agencies which ensure that applications are dealt with quickly. However, she urged applicants to make sure that all documents are submitted with the form. “In some instances applications take longer to be processed because they are submitted with required documentation outstanding”.

She urged organisations to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the application and grant agreement process and suggested they approach the NLC’s regional offices for assistance with their applications.

“If your application is not properly completed, it is going to be declined,” she warned.

Explaining who was eligible for funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Ms Tsotetsi said:“Political parties and government departments are not funded. We fund arts (initiatives), organisations and charities. The money is for a good cause,” she said.

Observer, Hlanga Namntu, welcomed the dti’s efforts to educate the public on lottery funding, saying he had not known how lottery funding was allocated but he now had a better idea.

“I have been interested to apply but I never knew what one must do. These are things the government should have done a while ago. In fact, they should do these drives on a monthly basis. People are clueless on many issues regarding funding from the lottery,” he said.

Mr Namntu said with the little knowledge that he had, he would teach others too.