South Africans will be able to start buying lottery tickets in the next two weeks, newly appointed National Lottery operator Gidani said on Friday.
Gidani was named as the new operator by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa on Friday afternoon. It had been named as the operator in March this year, but the awarding of the licence was challenged by the previous operator, Uthingo, in court.
The Pretoria High Court ordered Mpahlwa to review all the bidders for operating the lottery and, while that process was ongoing, the lottery was suspended.
Mpahlwa said on Friday he hoped that everybody was satisfied the review process had been exhaustive and fair, and he appealed to the losing bidders not to take the case to court again.
The court previously said the minister’s choice was flawed because he did not establish whether the bidding companies’ shareholders held political office.
The review looked at 327 shareholders of all the bidding companies and it was established that Gidani’s shareholders did not hold political office and as such were eligible to be chosen.
”The important thing to us at the moment is to get the lottery up and running again,” Mpahlwa said.
Gidani chairperson and interim CEO Bongani Aug Khumalo said: ”We will hope that we able to launch in two weeks’ time. We should be able to start selling tickets and also be able to announce the first draw.”
He said to make the transition easier for lottery players, the games will initially remain the same, namely the Lotto, Lotto Plus, Wina Manja scratch-card games and the Sportstake games. The ticket prices will also remain the same. Gidani plans to introduce new lottery games later.
The kick-off will see lottery tickets being sold at 7 626 retailers all over the country. Gidani hopes to increase this to 10 600 retailers. — Sapa