It is with great pleasure to present the performance of the NLC as contained in this report. Although South Africa has undergone significant changes during the period under review, the NLC remained consistent in delivering its mandate. The relationship between regulation of lotteries and funding for good causes is symbiotic. It is important to us that all our stakeholders understand our areas of operation reflected in Part D of this report.
Technological advancements have altered the way lotteries are regulated worldwide. It has become challenging to regulate the proliferation of online gaming or games provided on technological platforms due to restrictive legislation in terms of online gaming. Our focus remains embedded in exploring innovative ways to combat illegal lotteries while engaging policy makers to address technological disruptions and alignment of legislation.
Great emphasis has been placed on the introduction of programmes that give effect to section 2B of the Act that stipulates that the Commission must ensure the interests of every participant in the National Lottery are adequately protected. Player protection mechanisms are articulated in the Regulatory Compliance report here.
In fulfilling our vision, we ensured that South Africa featured prominently on the global stage through the funding of the South African team at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth games, participation at the World Conference on Women and Sport in Gaborone and hosting of the World Choir Games. We have kept to our commitment to engage continuously and meaningfully to assess the impact of our work, the accessibility of our services, and to identify gaps and opportunities that will help us to increase our efficiency. This is evident through the periodic studies we conduct, the focus of proactive funding, and stakeholder engagement from national to local level.
We encourage economic sustainability for stakeholders through our capacity-building programmes, which continue to reach more communities. Organisations that received formal training in business management and governance during FY 2016/17 will soon be transferring the skills that they have gained to their counterparts.
The organisation has come a long way from a time when the backlog of applications stood at thousands, to achieving the target of 150 days turnaround time between application and adjudication.
Total disbursements amounted to R2 billion (2017: R1.9 billion). Notwithstanding the upward trend in unemployment and a declining economy, the NLC continued to create jobs through its funding totalling 14 414 projects. The impact of NLC funding is articulated in the Operations Report here.
Our achievement of 100% on set targets encourages us to do better and go even further in delivering our mandate and remaining relevant to the broader society.
The NLC has maintained its clean audit opinion on the National Lotteries Commission (separate annual financial statements) and National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (separate annual financial statements) as a result of leadership’s drive to ensure a culture of sound corporate governance and the maintenance of strong internal controls. The NLC continued to report clean governance in the area of supply chain, where no irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and no internal control weaknesses were identified. A modified audit opinion was issued on the National Lotteries Commission group annual financial statements and immediate interventions sought by the Auditor-General for the NLC to consolidate the audited annual financial statement of the National Lotteries Participants Trust in the National Lotteries Commission group annual financial statements.
Our Regulatory Compliance Division has been central in implementing measures for participant protection while ensuring optimum and balanced regulation. One of our key regulatory mechanisms of ensuring protection of participants and protection of their prize monies is through the NLPT. For the first time since the inception of the National Lottery the NLC was required and heeded the call to consolidate the NLPT. The NLC consolidated the NLPT as an immediate intervention, however, the consolidation of the NLPT could not be audited due misalignment of the NLC and the NLPT’s audits. In the spirit of transparency, the NLC has published the audited Annual Financial Statements of the NLPT here in this report.
I wish to express my gratitude to our Board of Directors for their strategic direction and NLC staff who remain committed to being catalysts for social upliftment.
Ms TCC Mampane
National Lotteries Commission