Lottery licence resolution on the cards

The DTI says until the matter is resolved, the lottery will continue operating as usual.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry is confident minister Rob Davies will be able to renegotiate the terms of the lottery licence given to Ithuba within a month as ordered by a judge.

The High Court in Pretoria yesterday ruled that while the minister's decision preferring Ithuba over previous operator Gidani was valid, there were faults in the licence negotiation phase.

The court found that Davies was not free to defer Ithuba's payment of a performance bond until after the licence was agreed upon. However, that has since been paid.

Deputy trade and industry minister Mzwandile Masina says its legal team is working together with the new operator.

"The minister and the board of the national lottery's commission now have a month to re-look into the actual licence renegotiation so that we are able to comply with the judgment."

Masina says the lottery will continue operating as usual.

"We want to assure all South Africans that nowhere in the judgment did the judge refer to suspending the lottery. The lottery will proceed; we will deal with all the matters that are before us in compliance with the court."

Gidani meanwhile says the high court ruling shows it was right to pursue the matter in court.

The company's CEO Bongani Khumalo says the matter was about pursuing justice and fairness.

"It does create an opportunity for the minister to go back and look at what the best way would be for the lottery. I can confirm that we are ready."