Members of the public have until 7 June 2013 to submit comments on the Draft Amendment Bill of the Lotteries Act of 1997.
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti) Dr Rob Davies, the amendment Bill followed several improvements already made in the administration of the National Lotteries Board. The Bill proposes the appointment of permanent distribution agencies. Davies is of the view that this will address the lack of quorums in the distribution agencies which affect their efficiency.
“To address this we will appoint fulltime distribution agencies because we discovered that part-time distribution agencies do not work. Due to their workloads, there had been unsatisfactory delays from the time that applications were received until funds were distributed. This is caused by the fact that the members are appointed on a part time base and sometimes they struggle to form a quorum. This will be something of the past once the Bill is implemented,” said Davies.
Minister Davies said the Bill is also addressing the challenges of accountability and conflict of interest amongst the members of the distribution agencies.
“To clear conflict of interest, we propose in the Bill that members of the distributing agencies should discontinue engagement with potential beneficiaries of lottery funding as recusal from meetings when their own charities or causes were possible beneficiaries was insufficient” he added.
The Bill aims to provide for the extension of the powers of the board, to provide for licensing of organ of state to conduct National Lottery, to provide for clear accountability channel for distributing agency and to provide for the professionalisation of the distributing agency. In addition, the Bill is also intended to eliminate overlapping functions of the Minister and the board and to provide for the removal of the reconstruction and development programme as a category entitled to be allocated money of the fund.
Interested persons may submit written comments to the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) for the attention of Mr Nkoatse Mashamaite on: Fax: 012 394 21054 or by email to NEMashamaite@thedti.gov.za.
The draft Lotteries Amendment Bill can be accessed on:
Statement issued by the DTI.