South African NLC faces further scrutiny after investigation into missing lottery funds

South African NLC faces lottery funds allegation over school
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The South African National Lotteries Commission (NLC) is under the microscope once again after a leaked report into missing funds for the rebuild of a secondary school.

As reported by Ground Up, the South African NLC took on the task of rebuilding the Vhafamadi Secondary School in Limpopo in 2016, following its destruction during violent protest action a year previous.

The South African NLC promised the funds to build a new school.However, in October 2018 it was reported that the new buildings were displaying clear signs of structural damage, just 19 months after construction.

Furthermore, doubts started to emerge over the R28.3m lottery grant that had allegedly been set aside for the project.

One major anomaly was that the recipient of the grant, the non-profit organisation Simba Community Develop Foundation (Simba), had not been mentioned in the list of grantees in any of the NLC’s annual reports.

According to Ground Up, the NLC has remained tight-lipped about the grant.

Audit firm SkX found that Simba submitted fraudulent documents and never finished the project, and that the lottery funds could not be accounted for. Unregistered contractors had been used to build the school.

The NLC, however, ignored the recommendations and kept the report under wraps for almost two years, and it was only when copies were leaked to GroundUp that more details came to light.

SkX found that the NLC had disregarded its own control mechanisms, that a family business linked to its former COO had benefited, and that poor work was delivered without the provincial Department of Education exercising oversight and raising the necessary red flags.

This follows a number of other allegations against the NLC and some of its members, including Thabang Mampane, who resigned from her role as Commissioner last month.