In response to an oral question asked by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, has agreed to release the list of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) Covid-19 Relief Fund Beneficiaries to the Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition.
This is the despite the best efforts of ANC portfolio committee members and the NLC, who have prevented this information from being made public.
According to his response, Minister Patel stated that: “The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) went out on a call for applications for Coronavirus (Covid-19) Relief Fund to the amount of R150 million and received over five thousand applications from non-profit organisations countrywide. At this stage, adjudications are underway and allocations are still being done on the R150 million to different applicants. Therefore, the process has not been completed as yet. The NLC estimates that the whole process will be completed by the second week of July 2020 (17 July 2020). Only after that date can the NLC be able to provide a list of projects funded as part of Covid-19 relief”.
This is a victory for transparency as it means that taxpayers will now be able to see how their money is being spent by the public institutions they entrust with this responsibility.
The DA will hold Minister Patel to his assurance that this information will be provided to the portfolio committee on the 17th of July 2020.
Failure to do so will result in the DA considering the appropriate legal action to ensure that this information is made public.
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