R255 a page: Commission spends millions printing annual reports

 ·13 Jun 2023

The Democratic Alliance says that the National Lottery Commission (NLC) spent R2.6 million on printing 70 annual reports for 2022 that cannot even be accounted for.

This equates to roughly R37,000 spent per report or R255 per page.

According to the opposition party, this sort of ‘grade-scale’ corruption has come to define the NLC in recent years.

The National Lotteries Commission is the only National Regulator for lotteries and sports pools in the country, established in terms of the Lotteries Amendment Act to regulate the National Lottery as well as other lotteries, including society lotteries and promotional competitions.

The commission operates under the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition.

The recently uncovered figures follow parliamentary questions and answers where Dean Macpherson from the DA asked the minister of trade, industry and competition how much the NLC paid for printed copies of its integrated annual reports for (i) 2020, (ii) 2021 and (iii) 2022.

The Department of Trade provided the DA member with the following figures:

  • 2020 – R1.98 million for 205 copies
  • 2021 – R2.69 million for 200 copies
  • 2022 – R2.60 million for 70 copies

The DA said it has sourced costing from a local company that reveals this should not have cost more than R200 per booklet.

“The question is, how was a company allowed to rip off the NLC, and inflate costings by 18,500% without any questions being asked and for so long?” said the DA.

“It is also not known where these 70 annual reports went, if anywhere, as they cannot be accounted for,” the DA added.

The group said that the official responsible for the printing of the reports is now on suspension; however, the DA has now called for the company to be revealed for colluding with officials in this manner.

The NLC has a history of corruption and mismanagement of funds. In 2020 the NLC was raided by the Special Investigating Unit in a probe of alleged maladministration at the agency.

In October last year, the minister of trade was tasked with dealing with institutionalized fraud and corruption at the NLC, reported GroundUp.

The group’s board has recently been revised in an attempt to establish and clean up the NLC, said the publication.

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