Here’s Where the Money From the National Lottery Goes

Here’s Where the Money From the National Lottery Goes
Updated: Thursday 6th May 2021

Ithuba, the company that runs the National Lottery, is granted the license to operate it by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), which receives some of the lottery's revenue to fund charitable and non-profit organizations across the country. Find out how the money is spent.

About the National Lotteries Commission

The National Lotteries Commission is the sole regulatory body for lotteries in South Africa, overseeing a number of game formats, including sports pools, raffles, and draw games. Some of these are private lotteries hosted as fundraisers by NPOs and NGOs, but this is only one channel used by the NLC to give back to the community. The National Lottery is the most high-profile organisation regulated by the NLC.

Through the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), the NLC receives 27 percent of the revenue raised by the National Lottery. Every lottery ticket purchased in South Africa - whether that's for Lotto, Sportstake, or any other game - contributes to this funding and the NLC is required to report to Parliament about the management of the fund every year.

The NLC uses this money to issue grants to fund non-profit initiatives in poorer communities across South Africa, prioritized according to the greatest potential for impact within these communities. These funds go directly towards promoting growth and positive change in the lives of the disadvantaged – such is the mandate of the NLC.

NLC Grant Funding

Over the years, the amount of grant contributions made by the NLC have gone towards building communities across the country, localized to three main sectors. The sectors most widely funded by the NLC are Arts and Culture, Sports and Recreation, and Charities. 

Arts & Culture

By supporting South Africa’s artists and celebrating the country’s indigenous cultures, the NLC seeks to empower artists - young and old - providing both a national and international platform for the promotion of local talent, while preserving South Africa’s natural heritage. The impact of such an initiative goes beyond the individual, spreading through communities and enriching lives through engagement. 

There is a strong focus on female empowerment through practical skills training efforts. Such efforts include training in the agricultural sector, as well as business skills courses. The preservation and restoration of monuments to the national heritage of South Africa is another area to which funding is directed, be it through dance, language or handcrafts.


Of the 47 percent of profits channeled towards the aid of those in need, charitable organizations in South Africa receive the lion’s share. From social development to health care, literacy programmes and welfare initiatives, the NLC’s contributions are wide and varied. 

Initiatives focusing on home-based care for the elderly, the orphaned, the disabled, and those suffering from long-term illness are given preference for funding. Educational programmes for vocational training, adult literacy and early-years development are also prioritized, particularly when tailored towards empowering the disabled.

Sport and Recreation

National and regional sporting bodies, local and recreational sports clubs and schools are all encouraged to apply to the NLC for funding, provided the key values of equity access and development are upheld by said bodies. Emphasis is placed on building infrastructure and access to facilities within rural and disadvantaged communities, to nurture and promote young athletic talent from grassroots. Over R4 billion has been distributed to various sport-related initiatives over a period of 16 years.

Should your organization lie beyond the scope of these established areas of contribution, fear not. Organizations who make contributions to the community outside of these sectors are still invited to apply for funding. With every contribution made, in all capacities, the NLC seeks to partner with changemakers on the ground, who are directly engaged in the business of solving the problems that ail South Africa's communities on a daily basis. Every little bit counts.

Published: Thursday 27th February 2020

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