Cape Town 080328- People queeing for lotto tickets at cape Town station.Picture Cindy Waxa.

Johannesburg - The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has started accepting applications for funding in the arts, culture, and national heritage sector, CEO Charlotte Mampane said on Wednesday.

“It is critical that in order to ensure success, applicants must prepare their proposals fully and honestly Ä and early,” Mampane said in a statement.

“We are inundated every year with applications from all quarters, many more than we can afford or accommodate, and we simply cannot entertain those that have not been properly put together.”

Mampane said the budget for the sector is about R560 million.

The NLB warned applicants that the number of people applying was increasing and the budget had to be shared by all compliant applicants, so applicants should not rely solely on receiving a National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) grant.

This year the NLDTF is restricting the maximum size of grants allocated.

“This is in order to address the challenges of equitable distribution, and the increase in number and value of applications that the NLB has been seeing in the past,” she said.

“This capping of the application value will result in more structured and focused applications that will lead to quicker turnaround times.”

The NLB warned that late and incomplete applications would not be considered.

Applicants were requested to prioritise projects and budget line items for which they applied.

“The NLB stresses that there will be no retrospective funding and that no applicant is guaranteed funding or the amount they applied for, if successful.”

Chairwoman of the arts, culture, and national heritage distributing agency Thoko Mkwanazi-Xaluva, said the agency would focus on applications from the Northern Cape, Free State, and the North West, where the minimum target of five percent of grant allocations was not met, when they adjudicated applications.

“Projects in disadvantaged rural and previously disadvantaged areas will also be prioritised. We will also prioritise festivals and film production that focus on indigenous genres,” she said.

NLB Chairman Prof Alfred Nevhutanda said the NLDTF had allocated “over R17 billion since inception, and in the region of R3.5 billion in the arts and culture sector alone”.

Help desks would be established across the country from February 25 to April 5 to ensure applicants understood the process. - Sapa