On the 6th of May 2020, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) issued a statement in which it set out the guidelines for its Covid-19 Relief Fund.
The NLC stated in its guidelines that “[organisations] that have been funded by the NLC for programmes in the past two financial years; and organisations that have been funded by the NLC in the past five financial years for infrastructure projects” would only be eligible to qualify.
This poses several concerns as a number of these ‘qualifying’ organisations have been involved in alleged mismanagement of funds meant to deliver recreational, elder care, educational and sports facilities.
Glaring examples of this corruption are:
- The R10 million awarded to Zibsifusion to replace pit toilets with ‘Enviro loos’ in Limpopo schools at R138 888 apiece despite this cost being inflated by more than 100% of the going rate
- The R27 million awarded to Denzhe Primary Care to refurbish a drug rehabilitation center in Gauteng that went to funding controversial lawyer Mr. Lesley Ramulifho’s lavish lifestyle of exotic motor cars and fine-dining instead of completing the project
- The R23 million awarded to construct an old age home in the Northern Cape that was still under construction as of 2019 despite having been granted this money during 2017 in ‘record time’
Despite the Democratic Alliance (DA) supporting the call for the continued sale of lottery tickets as they provided much needed funds to the NGOs and NPOs – we will not stand by while much needed resources are misused for personal benefit.
Therefore, the DA calls on the NLC to add to its ‘delinquency register’ those NPOs and NGO’s currently under investigation for the misappropriation of funds to be barred from receiving funding.
Now, more than ever, relief funds need to be channelled to those in the most desperate of circumstances as a result of poverty and inequality caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looters will not be given a free pass by the DA, we will continue to ensure that taxpayers money is used in a cost-effective and value-generating manner, which benefits those citizens who are most in need in our society.