Chess Club Receives Unexpected Lotto Windfall

Chess Club Receives Unexpected Lotto WindfallMonnapula Tayitayi, the chairperson of Phelindaba Chess Club, expressed his astonishment at receiving millions of rands from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC). The club, which previously received smaller grants, was awarded an unprecedented R4.5 million this year. Tayitayi maintains that all operations within the club, which boasts 72 individual members, adhere strictly to regulations.


 

Discrepancies and Investigations

City Press' sister publication, Rapport, recently reported the substantial funding awarded to the Phelindaba Chess Club, highlighting the discrepancy compared to the amounts received by Chess SA and Tshwane Chess. Unlike these recognised bodies, Phelindaba Chess Club lacks a digital presence and has no notable players in official rankings. Despite this, Tayitayi showcased a room filled with chess equipment and stated that the club has been active in hosting school competitions since 2013.

Funding Application and Use of Funds

In 2018, the club received R148,000, followed by R85,000 in 2020. This year, Tayitayi applied for R5 million, never expecting to be granted such a large amount. According to NLC regulations, established organisations can apply for medium-sized grants, requiring them to submit detailed budgets and motivations. Tayitayi explained that the Phelindaba Chess Club, which now includes 12 smaller clubs, applied for funding to organise local competitions and cover various operational costs.

Transparency and Accountability

The NLC confirmed the existence of the Phelindaba Chess Club but refused to disclose specific details about its members. Tayitayi, also affiliated with other sports clubs, denied any personal enrichment from the funds, emphasizing his commitment to sports and youth development. He pointed out his modest living conditions as proof of his dedication. The NLC stated that the grant was awarded based on the club meeting all necessary application criteria, with the aim of supporting disadvantaged communities in sports and recreational activities.

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