New kid on the block Ithuba Holdings is promising to raise the bar in the business of operating the National Lottery and in the attendant social consequences, black economic empowerment (BEE) and the charity kitty.
Ithuba was confirmed as the winner of the bidding process for the third National Lottery Licence. Ithuba beat heavy weighted competition like the current national lottery operator Gidani. Gambling specialist Grand Parade Investment (GPI) was also in the running.
Gidani is challenging in court the decision of the minister of trade and industry Rob Davies to award the licence to Ithuba.
Ithuba seems unfazed. The operation led by prominent businessman Seth Phalatse said it was ready to “uphold the mandate to raise money for good causes.”
Ithuba describes itself as a consortium that brings together several of South Africa’s respected business minds. “Ithuba comprises the kind of business acumen we believe the National Lottery needs as it enters this new phase,” says Ithuba Chairman, Seth Phalatse. “We are pleased that our compelling bid, the credentials of the companies and individuals involved and our clear commitment to South Africa and its development have inspired confidence in Ithuba as the preferred Operator”. Phalatse said the group’s unmatched experience in various ventures, world-class resources and leading technology, meant the best value proposition for South Africa.
In addition to Phalatse the Ithuba board also features Charmaine Mabuza, Yvonne Schnyder, Thuli Njapa Mashanda and Amaresh Chetty. Ithuba said the companies that makes Ithuba’s shareholding include Zamani Gaming, Kwabo Holdings, Paytronix Systems, Inhlangano Management, Imbhumbha Management and the South African Government.
Ithuba stressed that it is wholly owned by South Africans and includes organised labour, women in business, people with disabilities and black business. “These shareholders have proved themselves as committed champions of BBBEE and in their various capacities they have been catalysts of transformation; have created numerous new job opportunities through various new companies and have provided genuine empowerment to an increasingly wide audience.”
Ithuba said it will partner with GTECH, an international gaming technology leader, which will provide the robust technical back-end and service support to the gaming machines.
Ithuba said it has identified global good practices in international gaming and incorporated these into a home grown value proposition that includes a world class gaming experience and a host of new and exciting lottery games that will appeal to the everyday South African.
Ithuba said it is committed to extend the network of retail operators to expand the convenience and reach of the National Lottery system while ensuring responsible participation.