Johannesburg – The deadline for submissions to run the national lottery expired today. Three consortia – Uthingo, Moraba and Lottoyethu – are in the running and the winning bidder for the licence to operate the lottery is expected to be announced in May. The process to establish the lottery began five years ago. The eventual launch of the national lottery, expected to generate up to R6 billion a year, will bring with it the demise of all existing lotteries and scratchcard operations in South Africa, which are turning over R300 million a year. Uthingo, headed by Khehla Shubane, is the only consortium with international partners. “The experience, knowledge and proven expertise of these international partners will ensure that the South African National Lottery is launched without delay using proven technology,” said Uthingo. Its international partners include Camelot International, G-Tech and Tattersalls, which share 30 percent of the equity. Uthingo also has a combination of seven empowerment groups, which with the South African Post Office and the National Empowerment Fund, own 70 percent of the equity. These include the Black Management Forum’s investment arm, the Disability Employment Concerns Trust, Motswedi Technology Holdings, the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa Investment Company, Nafcoc Investment Holding Company and the Women’s Development Bank Investment Holdings. The other two bidders, Moraba, led by Moribo Leisure, and Lottoyethu, led by Hosken Consolidated Investment, are 100 percent South African-owned, and are made up of various empowerment groups. Moss Mashishi, the chairman of Moraba, said its consortium would benefit from one of its four major partners, Moribo Leisure, which through its subsidiary, Games Africa, has many years in lottery experience, having run national lotteries like Ithuba, Viva and Zama-Zama. The other major partners in the Moraba group include Kopano ke Matla, Cosatu’s investment arm, Makana Trust and Nthuthuko Trust. The Lottoyethu consortium which has Hosken Consolidated Investments, the MIH group of companies which include M-Net, MTN, M-Web and DStv, the Emerging Business Coalition and a Community Partnership as part of the group, are also 100 percent South African. Phanda Trust, the National Horseracing Interest, Ithuba Trust Investment, Retsogile Investments, Spatial and various women’s investment groups make up the rest of the consortium. The department of trade and industry has placed a gag on all three bidders to discourage them from speaking to the press from today.

Source: Business Report – Bontle Headbush