ITHUBA CEO Charmaine Mabuza

As South Africans send-off 2023, the national lottery continues its successful run under ITHUBA, the operator for the past eight years. Photo: Supplied

ITHUBA celebrates 2023 with housing, bursaries and birthday celebrations

As South Africans send-off 2023, the national lottery continues its successful run under ITHUBA, the operator for the past eight years.

ITHUBA CEO Charmaine Mabuza

As South Africans send-off 2023, the national lottery continues its successful run under ITHUBA, the operator for the past eight years. Photo: Supplied

As South Africans send-off 2023, the National Lottery continues its successful run under ITHUBA, the National Lottery Operator for the past eight years.


During that time, ITHUBA helped raise the National Lottery’s banner, created more ways to win, and provided homes and bursaries to people as part of ITHUBA’s internal social investment.

“It’s been a bumper year for us,” said ITHUBA’s CEO, Charmaine Mabuza.

“Our investment in technology created more ways to win and helped to generate more revenue for contributions towards good causes. Apart from the social investment funds distributed by the National Lotteries Commission, ITHUBA also independently spearheads several community-building projects. We built houses for people across SA, tackled important social issues, awarded bursaries to ambitious students, and helped more businesses, especially small businesses, be a part of the National Lottery ecosystem.”

A smashing year

Countless lives were changed by deciding to Phanda Pusha Play. During 2023, the National Lottery awarded over R2.3 billion to more than 73 million winning tickets.

The biggest winners of the year shared R128 million, won by two people on 17 October 2023.

Many more people won because of the National Lottery, even if they never bought a ticket. ITHUBA supports the National Lotteries Commission, which distributes funds generated from the sales of National Lottery tickets to social causes. But ITHUBA also funds and runs separate social investment projects that align closely to their brand values.

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In 2018, ITHUBA started building houses for staff that had no home of their own. The project soon expanded to outside needs and rose to the moment when floods devastated large parts of KwaZulu-Natal in 2022. This year, the project continued, and ITHUBA delivered more new homes to people across the country.

Education is also a firm focus for ITHUBA. It awarded 100 percent bursaries to high-achieving learners in Grade 12, and first and second-year tertiary students. The ITHUBA Bursary Programme covers academic tuition, technology equipment, stationery, study material, accommodation, emotional support and a stipend. These help students focus on developing their minds and skills to help create a better future for South Africans.

Mabuza values the Ubuntu philosophy – showing humanity to others – and ITHUBA expresses the philosophy through extensive and ongoing social investment. Past and current programmes include campaigns against gender-based violence and developing small female-owned businesses.

As part of its mandate, ITHUBA must develop and promote the National Lottery. Significant investments in digitising National Lottery operations are delivering impressive results. ITHUBA has on boarded several large banking institutions to sell National Lottery tickets directly through their branches and apps. In 2023, online sales of National Lottery tickets surpassed physical sales, accounting for 55 percent of tickets sold in 2023. ITHUBA also celebrated its eighth year as the third National Lottery Operator, doubling as a National Lottery branding campaign that generated over 1.8 billion impressions on X. The campaign achieved a staggering 7.45 million views on X and an astounding 14.1 million on TikTok.

Living the values of Ubuntu

Since starting as the National Lottery operator in 2015, ITHUBA’s mandate has been to manage the National Lottery’s operations. But this role is more than a business arrangement – it’s an opportunity to create platforms and projects to help South Africa and close the gaps and inequalities that keep many people from realising their passion and purpose. This vision pushes ITHUBA to do more with its resources.

“We can focus on just being the best National Lottery operator, and we do take that very seriously,” says Mabuza.

“We strive to be innovative and create a world-class National Lottery that stands equal to the other top lotteries across the world, and we share our knowledge to help other lotteries also develop. But I know we can do more, which is why we are so focused on social projects.”

These are not just corporate social investments but the basis of ITHUBA’s culture.

“Our social investment projects reflect who we are as a company and people. They show who we are. I’m humbled and thankful for ITHUBA’s amazing staff who also believe in these values and work hard to make them happen. ITHUBA is an example of what we can achieve when we work together.”

ITHUBA believes in a brighter future. In 2023, it helped many people – National Lottery winners, new homeowners, and ambitious students – move towards that future. South Africans can create and achieve great things, and 2024 will deliver even more. As the country says goodbye to the old year and welcomes the new, ITHUBA is alongside them, spreading the message of Ubuntu: I am because we are.


ITHUBA Holdings Proprietary “(RF) is the official operator of the National Lottery in South Africa. Operating since 2015,  ITHUBA has been living up to their mandate to revitalise the lottery by optimising the customer experience, transparent operations and positive social contributions. ITHUBA intends to proactively contribute to ongoing socio-economic development through their excellence in gaming, making their impact felt by those in need. ITHUBA is determined to uphold the ethical and efficient operation of the National Lottery, setting the benchmark for Lottery operations in South Africa and beyond.