no help for disabled

While the National Lotteries Board (NLB) has blamed the delay of payments to charities on the volume of applications and processing, needy organisations are battling to cope.

While the National Lotteries Board (NLB) has blamed the delay of payments to charities on the volume of applications and processing, needy organisations are battling to cope.

Last week in parliament it was revealed that the NLB had R3,3billion available to help organisations this year alone but somehow only distributed R848million.

This means that 72percent of the cash available for distribution is lying idle.

While funds remain in the coffers of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund charity organisations have been left wanting as funding has been delayed by almost three years.

John Mothopeng, chairperson of the Southern African Disabled Musicians Association, said it has been a mammoth task trying to run the organisation without funding.

"The NLB approved the payment of more than R3,6million three years ago - but only gave us R1million in October last year," Mothopeng said.

"The money was used to buy a house for the organisation in Highlands North, Johannesburg."

Sadma provides music training and recording and distribution facilities for disabled musician across the country.

Sadma at present operates from Mothopeng's house in Yeoville while the Highlands North house is being renovated.

"We are already paying for water, electricity and rates totalling more than R2000 a month," Mothopeng said.

Sam Noge, Sadma head of administration and marketing, said the NLB had previously released funds while waiting for audited statements to be completed.

"Our auditors sent a letter to the NLB informing them that audited statements would be submitted as soon as they were ready," Noge said.

Sadma had previously received funding on the basis of progress reports, while audited statements were being prepared.

The money received amounted to R1,55milllion four years ago and was used to buy a minibus and run talent search programmes across the country.

But last year NLB changed its modus operandi and delayed the R2,6million pending the receipt of audited statements.

"We appreciate how they helped us to acquire the house but it is useless if we can't buy equipment and furniture for the facility," Noge said.

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