Durban - The outgoing Commissioner of the National Lotteries Commission, Charlotte Mampane, has reflected on her decade-long services at the helm of the country's lotteries regulator, which she described as a “tough and rough, but fulfilling responsibility”.
Mampane announced her resignation, citing political interference in the operations of the institution, which she said made it difficult to work.
She stated that while the institution transformed and reached milestones under her tutelage, it was not an easy decision to resign.
Reflecting on her journey, Mampane said she joined the NLC in 2012 as the chief executive officer on a five-year contract.
However, her contract was renewed for another five years, so she could drive growth and maintain stability. She said the extension was crucial to change, growth and stability.
She boasted about her leadership prowess and eagerness to drive change in disadvantaged communities across the nation by implementing fair and inclusive grant funding processes for applicants.
As a woman in leadership, Mampane said she made it a priority to assist organisations that fight the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV). She added that during her tenure, the NLC increased its support and funding of various organisations that assist victims of GBV, including shelters where vulnerable women and children can find refuge.
“It has been tough and rough, but it has been a fulfilling responsibility. I have learned and seen great projects implemented by members of civil society through NLC’s funding, which changed people’s lives and restored their dignity. I thank the amazing members of civil society, the wonderful NLC winning team, and the board”.
“It was an honour for me to be allowed to lead an organisation mandated to regulate the lottery industry and, most importantly, ensure that proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets were distributed to good causes,” she said.
I have learned humility, I have learned to appreciate the ability of women to join hands, work together and change the lives of communities,” she said.
Mampane said in a country plagued by poverty, unemployment, and inequality, achieving the vision of the NLC was critical.
The main objective of the NLC, according to the government, was to regulate all lotteries and sports pools with integrity and ensure the protection of all participants.
It must maximise revenue for good causes and distribute funds equitably and expeditiously.
Mampane said more than 90% of the funding had been directed to rural and township development as well as underprivileged communities during her tenure.
“During the financial year, the NLC was able to fund worthy causes amounting to R1.3 billion across the sectors of Charities, Arts and Culture and Sport and Recreation.
Food security and water preservation were areas that featured prominently during the year, including the funding of about R60 million to support micro-agricultural projects in six provinces, targeting women in rural areas.
This, alongside projects aimed at restoring human dignity to thousands of children through sanitation projects in rural schools, in support of the Department of Basic Education.
With regards to transformation in line with technology, she has been mindful of the advent of 4IR, which has only been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic in the past three years – acknowledging both its benefits and challenges.
“While the lottery industry remains competitive, local lotteries are finding themselves competing with foreign games due to the growing prevalence of these technological platforms.
Online gaming is providing more options for consumers but also threatens the revenue generated by traditional lottery operators.
While the global lottery industry endeavours to come to grips with these rapid changes, the NLC is driving innovation to curb the scourge of illegal lotteries. Where operators are found to be in contravention of the Lotteries Act, we aid them toward compliance,” she added.