The Freedom Front Plus is essentially opposed to a national lottery precisely because it fed by the finances of the poor and in this manner actually contributes to social problems. In South Africa the lottery is however a given which cannot be wished away and that is why it is necessary to see to it that it is legally managed correctly, Adv. Anton Alberts, the Freedom Front Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Social Development says.
“If the annual wasting of state revenue through fruitless expenses, maladministration and corruption can only be prevented by half, there would be sufficient revenue for the state to fulfil its social responsibilities.
“The National Lottery is however a given. That is why it is important to see to it that it is legally managed properly in line with the Constitution and the National Lotteries Act,” Adv. Alberts says.
He says it is also important to see to it that the law gives full effect to the original intentions of the act and that it does not actually work to the detriment of taxpayers and those whom it is supposed to advantage.
“It is unfortunately the case with regards to this Act. I have experienced in person how institutions in Pretoria which take care of new-born babies, try in vain to acquire some financial assistance from the National Lottery.
“This, despite the fact that the majority of babies being taken care of are black. In many cases the institutions did not even receive a reply following their applications for assistance.
“That is why the amendments proposed in the National Lotteries Amendment Act are very welcome. The establishment of an internal review body to review the decisions of the Board and distribution bodies is of particular importance.
“At least small and under-funded organisations, which do not have funds to appoint legal representatives, will now have a remedy if they are of the opinion that their applications had been turned down unfairly.
“It is unfortunately so and there is also a strong perception amongst the public that the funds do not reach the neediest. A wealthy school received support for a cultural activity, while babies do not have food to eat.
“If the misappropriation of lottery funds can be prevented in the process and people can be helped where it is really needed, there is merit in the proposed amendments of the Act. The government’s attempts to control the lottery itself can however not be allowed.
“The objectives of the act will only be realised if the system and the people in control of it, act effectively, unbiased and with strong moral convictions. The continual vigilance of all parliamentarians is needed for this,” Adv. Alberts said.
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