The return of the lottery is imminent and fanatics of the game can expect an announcement within the next ten days.
Director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry, Tshediso Matona, said yesterday that Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa had reached a decision and a final announcement would be made soon.
"The next ten days will see us tying the last knot. We are careful because we want everything to be 100percent when we make the important announcement," Matona said.
But most shopkeepers polled by Sowetan yesterday were sceptical. They said they will only believe it was happening when they are consulted to start selling tickets.
A shopkeeper in Maraisburg, west of Johannesburg, said he had not heard anything from the authorities about the lotto.
"There is nothing I can do. I just have to wait for the minister to make an announcement, otherwise we listen to the radio and read the newspapers to get the latest developments concerning the lottery," he said.
He was not hopeful about the return of the lotto because "the minister has been promising to make an announcement since May".
The lottery was suspended four months ago by Mpahlwa after the Pretoria high court found irregularities in Gidani's, the winning company, bid.
This followed a legal action brought by former lottery operator Uthingo, who claimed that the proper procedure was not followed when awarding the bid to Gidani.
Matona could not commit to a date but said they were ready. He emphasised that the delays would not go beyond ten days.
He said the delays were caused by bidders providing additional information about shareholding in dribs and drabs.
"Were it not for these delays, we would move faster. We are now just dealing with small details and will make the announcement soon," he said.
Matona could not say who the new administrator would be but said the National Lotteries Board had made its recommendation in their report to the minister.
Mpahlwa first suspended the lottery for a month at the end of March. Then in April he announced that the lottery would return in June.