NLC hosts conflict of interest virtual conference

A Conversation Brought To You by the National Lotteries Commission

Johannesburg – A conflict of duty happens when a person is required to fulfil two or more roles that may be in conflict with each other.

It can be an actual, potential or a perceived conflict of duty.

For example, a director may also hold a position as a public servant, or they may be a member of the board of another public entity or body.


A conflict of duty may also arise through a director having official duties in respect of other government bodies, community and professional associations or non-governmental organisations.

An example would be an NLC employee who is a lay preacher and his/her church applies for NLC funding and s/he does not declare that they are the leader of the church.

The four categories of conflicts of interest and conflicts of duty that we could encounter at the NLC are:

  1. Potential conflicts of interest or conflicts of 

A Potential Conflict Exists When an NLC Employee Has Interests Which Are Not Relevant, but It Is Reasonably Foreseeable That in the Future, Personal Interests Could Become Relevant Interests.

2. Perceived conflicts of interest or conflicts

A perceived conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the official’s judgment is likely to be

3. Actual conflicts of interest or conflicts of

This is the situation where an NLC employee has existing private interests that are relevant (which will interfere with objectivity).

4. Actual conflicts of interest or conflicts of

The intensity of the conflict of interest is of such an extent that it cannot be managed and must be disposed of or ceased.

A perceived conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the official’s judgment is likely to be compromised.

  • A perceived conflict of interest involves a situation that may develop into an actual conflict of interest. The intensity of the conflict of interest is of such an extent that the conflict of interest falls within the NLC materiality and risk framework and requires in-depth investigation.
  • The Commissioner can determine whether or not she has the appetite to tolerate the risk. Where the determination has been established, it must be shared with the employee. An example would be an NLC employee or their spouse being an owner of a charitable organisation which has formally applied for NLC funding.
  • This must be declared. If this fact is hidden there is a potential violation of labour and/or criminal law. Another example would be a spouse or child of an employee or executive of the NLC being a director of a company that has received a tender in the organisation.

Actual conflicts of interest

This Is the Situation Where an NLC Employee Has Existing Private Interests That Are Relevant (Will Interfere With his/her Objectivity).

The Intensity of the Conflict of Interest Is of Such an Extent That It Cannot Be Managed and Must Be Disposed of or Ceased.

An Example Would Be an Employee or a Spouse or Child of an Employee or Executive of the NLC Being a Director of a Company That Has Received a Tender in the Organisation.

Alternatively, a Child of an Employee Being Offered Employment in a Department Where Their Parent Works Is an Actual Conflict of Interest, Circumstance or Duty.

What the NLC says about dealing with conflicts of interests?

  • The NLC conflict of interest management framework therefore provides that conflicts between private interests and public duties of NLC employees must be correctly identified, appropriately managed and effectively resolved.
  • The NLC recognises that all public officials have private interests of some kind in their capacity as private citizens. It is not unlawful to have private interests. In fact, it is a constitutional right. It becomes problematic when one’s private interests clash with their public obligations.
  • As indicated above a conflict of interest is not automatically corruption or unlawful. Corruption in this context is understood as “actual abuse of public office for private advantage or gain”. However, if the conflict of interest is left unresolved, it has the potential of resulting in corrupt conduct, abuse of public office, breach of trust and other unlawful action or inaction.

What are our obligations in terms of the NLC conflict of interest framework?

“All NLC employees and leaders must annually disclose their interests or as soon as the facts change.”

What type of recommendations are made in the assessment report?

  • Where a potential conflict of interest has been identified, the commissioner is to be informed
  • Where there is a perceived conflict of interest, the commissioner will seek a legal opinion for an in-depth analysis on whether there is a fact a conflict of interest or if the perceived conflict of interest is tolerable.
  • Where there is an actual conflict of interest which can be managed, the recommendation is that the employee must be recused from the process or transaction in question.
  • Where there is an actual conflict of interest which is fundamental, the employee must dispose of the interest and the matter must be referred to the legal department for an assurance assessment of the prevention and combating of corruption activities act 12 of 2004 (“precca”).

A comprehensive assessment report is subsequently issued for employees where the expectation is for employees to rebut or remedy the result of the assessment. The recommendation within the report guides the Employee, Divisional Head and the Commissioner on how to manage the conflict of interest or circumstance or duty pertaining to the employee.

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