/ 17 September 2007

DA wants probe into Lotto bonuses


The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday lodged a complaint with the Public Services Commission over what it said were ”unjustified” performance bonuses being paid to National Lotteries Board (NLB) officials.

”Today, I lodged a complaint with the Public Service Commission over the unjustifiable increase in staff performance bonuses at the National Lotteries Board in the year that must rate as the most disastrous for the Lotto ever,” DA spokesperson on Trade and Industry Pierre Rabie said in a statement.

Staff performance bonuses at the NLB soared by 42 4% to more than R1,3-million for the past financial year, despite there being no staff performance appraisal systems at the organisation, through which this increase could be justified, Rabie said.

”If [Trade and Industry] minister Mandisi Mpahlwa is unable to whip this chaotic organisation into shape, then perhaps a finding from the Public Service Commissioner will clear the way forward,” he said.

Rabie lodges his complaint at a time when there is dithering over the appointment of a new lotto operator following the suspension of the national lottery by Mpahlwa early this year.

Despite numerous assurances from Mpahlwa’s office that the announcement of the new operator was imminent, it did not materialise.

”The NLB failed to advise the minister properly with respect to the issuing of a licence to conduct the national lottery. It is impossible that this increase in performance bonuses could be deemed reasonable, since the NLB has either failed to or could not carry out its mandate in a number of instances,” Rabie said.

Mpahlwa, Rabie said, appear to be turning a blind eye when NLB staff members were richly rewarded for their disastrous management of the national lottery system during 2006 and 2007.

Mpahlwa’s spokesperson Vukani Mde was not immediately for comment. – Sapa