Nonpayment of Lotto money uncharitable

It is an absurd situation that while South Africans will now be paying more for their Lotto tickets so that the lottery will generate more profit, the charities that are supposed to be the real beneficiaries of the game are still struggling desperately to receive their grant payouts.

Gidani claimed this week that the increase in the ticket price to R3,50 will allow bigger prizes and will "translate into a significantly higher amount of money" for charities.

But the DA, after taking this matter up last year, continues to be contacted by many charities that have been driven deep into debt and forced to cut services because of endless, unforgivable delays at the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

For example, the manager of an old age home was awarded a grant of nearly R1million in 2006. As of today, only half of this grant has been paid. Although a progress report was submitted in February last year, and another copy was submitted in November, staff members still claim not to have received either copy.

Last year the DA wrote four times to the Minister of Trade and Industry asking him to act on a flood of complaints from charities. We have as yet received no response.

South Africans deserve to know that the money they spend on the Lotto is finding its way to good causes.

Janet Semple, DA MPCape Town