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Celebrating 8 Years Of ITHUBA’s Impact In South Africa

  • 5 min read

Insights from the ITHUBA CEO, Charmaine Mabuza, on setting up for success, from a start-up to a stand-out company

In a distinctly tough business landscape where success stories are born out of dedication, innovation, and strong leadership, our company stands out as a true testament to the transformative power of hard work coupled with the spirit of Ubuntu.

I am proud to speak on behalf of ITHUBA, South Africa’s National Lottery Operator, where I have led my team of dedicated staff for the past 8 years. Sometimes to move forward with good intentions, it’s good to look back and take stock of what elements were instrumental to your success.

As ITHUBA celebrates its 8thAnniversary,  we can proudly acknowledge that we have earned the right to be called the leading operator in Africa. Invigorating the National Lottery and bringing it to a new audience was no easy feat, but it has been an exceptionally fulfilling journey. A journey I know has warmed the hearts of our staff and thousands across our beautiful nation.

Professional Triumphs

Any successful leader will tell you that it takes a village. I can personally attest to that as a mother, daughter, wife and CEO. It is never just one person who does it all. In my tenure as the CEO of ITHUBA, I have felt privileged to hit remarkable milestones. Still, I have to give credit to the incredible team working alongside me, subscribing to the same values that drive ITHUBA and keep us motivated.

Since operating, we have been celebrated for invigorating the National Lottery. Some of these moves were considered brave, others outright brazen, but to the ITHUBA team, we thought they made perfect sense, using research and data as our driving factors when making big decisions in the business.  

ITHUBA was the first South African Operator to move away from the traditional ball machines in 2017 and replaced them with a random number generator and digital draw show.  In hindsight, this bold change not only ensured we were able to meet our value of best practice by being transparent, but it also proved invaluable when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as we were able to continue our draws whilst other lotteries around the world had to stop their draws during the hard lockdown periods.

ITHUBA continued to lead through technology, moving boldly into the digital space by launching our Mobile App allowing players a seamless playing experience across all our platforms. 

South Africa has made history by becoming the first Lottery globally to sell Lottery tickets via digital banking platforms. Solidifying existing partnerships and onboarding other banks allowed us to grow our footprint more than we had initially envisioned and allowed us to connect with our players wherever they may be.   

Outside of the technology space, ITHUBA has paid out over R1.9 Billion to our retail partners since inception and successfully doubled our social media following to over 1 Million followers across all the National Lottery social media platforms. Connecting with our players and retail partners is hugely important- with their support, we were able to pay out over R30 Billion to over 670 Million winners, with the numbers climbing daily!  

Personal Insights

Fundamental values are the cornerstones of ITHUBA’s operations and my success story.


We started operating with a clear mandate and vision and shared this with the public and our partners. We operate with integrity in every part of our business, from financial management to employee relations.


Embrace challenges as opportunities. Turbulent times often present us with obstacles and uncertainty – we only need to think back to March 2020 to remember how daunting it can be not to know what tomorrow will bring.  I challenge you to see these as opportunities for growth. Embrace building resilience and flexibility.


Seek knowledge and expertise. No one has all the answers, especially in the ever-evolving business landscape. I foster a culture of learning, as it’s been instrumental to my success as a CEO. Remain forever a student, and it’s unlikely that you will ever stagnate.


Promote collaboration and social impact through Ubuntu, the African philosophy of interconnectedness and compassion. Practising Ubuntu holds great significance for ITHUBA, as we believe we do well by doing good. It’s a great source of pride to us that we are responsible corporate citizens, and I constantly challenge myself to focus on local CSI projects to truly serve our communities challenge to serve the communities we work in.  

As ITHUBA commemorates our eighth anniversary, leaving an indelible mark on South Africa, we stand resolute in our unwavering commitment to upholding excellence as the National Lottery Operator. With each jackpot and every shared victory, we remain steadfast in our belief that through relentless dedication, we will continue to foster a culture of excellence that defines our path ahead.