No Lotto funds puts charities 'in a mess'
THE National Lotteries Board has not granted funding to about 1000 struggling charity organisations this year, citing a backlog in the adjudication of requests, which has more than doubled since last year.
This delay has left non-governmental organisations like Childline, the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB), the SA Federation of Mental Health Society "in a mess".
Childline, which helps abused children, was struggling to make ends meet, with its CEO Joan Naicker revealing to Sowetan yesterday that this has forced its provincial centres to slash some programmes.
"Some of our offices have not received any funding because the NLB has not invited applicants. We would like to see the NLB opening an application process for funding. It's been 18 months without money," said Naicker.
She said therapeutic services and outreach programmes, particularly in the most under-resourced province of North West, had been canned as a result.
SANCB CEO Jace Nair pleaded with the NLB to allow applications, saying the organisation was finding it hard to continue with their projects provincially and had resolved to drastically cut costs to survive.
The organisation, which was yet to receive the R30-million funding requested last year, could no longer support community-based rehabilitation, literacy and sports projects in Limpopo, while other provinces could barely get by and relied on previous funding from other sponsors.
NLB spokesman Sershan Naidoo confirmed as stated in their website that there were currently no calls for new applications. Naidoo said while they would like to make a call for new applicants at least once year, the requests were exceeding the budget.
He explained that their board had requested R32-billion from the national Treasury.
"We would request applications once all backlogs are cleared." - Nhlabathih@sowetan.co.za