Pretoria - The National Lottery promised Swimming South Africa R2.8m last year to help them with the preparations for the recent Olympic Games in Beijing, but they did not see a single cent of the promised money.
Shaun Adriaanse, managing director of Swimming SA, confirmed this delay to Beeld on Wednesday, after 10 National Lotteries Board employees were dismissed on Tuesday.
The employees were fired because of a complaint about the board chairperson that was leaked to the media in May, it has been confirmed.
One of the dismissed employees Mzi Mani, who had been a payment official in the board's sport department, told Beeld on Wednesday that Vevek Ram's "poor management style and inadequate feedback" brought down employees' morale and had a direct impact on projects.
"We can't give our clients proper feedback.
"Ram had Swimming SA's approved application for who knows how long but he never explained to us why the money had not been paid out."
Mani and other dismissed employees are all members of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw), and will appeal their dismissal.
A source at one of South Africa's largest welfare organisations said the Lotteries Board lost their documents and then asked welfare organisations to send copies of the documents to them again.
The source said they waited up to 18 months from when they applied for Lotto money until it was paid out.
"We are unable to plan projects and personnel (requirements) and by the time the money comes, our needs have already changed.
"We have to supply the same documents two or three times because the originals get lost, they don't answer enquiries and if we complain, they accuse us of being at fault!"
The DA spokesperson for social development Janet Semple said poor management and incompetence were the root problems of the "lottery circus".
Her party had received about 100 complaints from welfare organisations.
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mphalwa recently said in Parliament that lottery legislation was being revised.
"Part of it (the revision) includes considering the challenges faced by distribution agents and making the necessary legislative adjustments."
Lotteries Board spokesperson Sershan Naidoo said on Wednesday that the board would only respond to the allegations against Ram, if the complainants followed the correct legal procedure.
Naidoo said Mani and his colleagues were dismissed because they had not followed the correct procedures, and not because they had complained.