Zamani Holdings’ rise to great heights has been one of overcoming great odds to curating jackpots of incredible proportions. As a business, Zamani understands that great businesses stand on the shoulders of giants; that life and business in equal measure, can only work with the support and village of other champions. Marking 13 years of its inception – Zamani has learnt lessons of endurance from the selfless men and women who fought for the emancipation of all South Africans, borrowing from the book of life of our heroes and their stories of triumph.
From humble beginnings themselves, Zamani founders, Eric and Charmaine Mabuza – over two decades ago – were inspired to birth the vision of what is today – a conglomerate business empire.
When Zamani chartered the course of its business – it was driven by a burning desire to change the status quo. Undeterred by the task ahead of it, today, Zamani boasts of a portfolio of four subsidiary companies leading the way in innovative gaming and ICT solutions in South Africa.
The philosophy of Zamani’s leadership has always encompassed a people-first approach. Its company values of integrity, tenacity, humility and best practice are embodied in its tight-knit and affable leadership team. Charmaine Mabuza’s early influence by her entrepreneurial mother in KwaZulu-Natal informed her transactional leadership style. After completing her studies in administration and business, Mabuza launched her career as a teacher in her home province before she became instrumental in setting up and managing family-owned businesses.
Over the years, it is these values that have become a compass in the way Zamani does its business. Its values are grounded in the belief that businesses should be built to make a difference in South Africa and the rest of the African continent – one day at a time. For real and tangible change to come, companies must invest for the long haul. The parent company of South Africa’s National Lottery Operator understands that any kind of transformation is not an overnight wonder. It is built over time – just like the companies, they have invested in over the past 10 years.
Motivated by the notion that if you want to get anywhere in life – you never forget where you come from – the founders of Zamani have given back to where they believe the future lies. The investment into young people and education has seen the company’s not-for-profit vehicle, the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation donating millions to a fully-funded tertiary bursary programme. The vision of Zamani when establishing the Scholarship Foundation was to eradicate poverty through education, by sowing, nurturing and harvesting the seed for young learners from rural communities across the length and breadth of the country. What began as small acts of kindness led to the meteoric growth of the Foundation, changing the lives of many young individuals, families and surrounding communities. Over 300 doctors, chartered accountants, quantity surveyors, ICT Specialists and many more professionals have graduated as recipients of the ITHUBA bursary in conjunction with the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation. Charmaine Mabuza is passionate about giving support and nurturing women-owned company start-ups – this is why Zamani’s Lottery Operations subsidiary, ITHUBA, invests in a business incubation programme for young women entrepreneurs, as well as in the mentoring of upcoming women in business.
The Zamani Holdings group of companies’ growth strategy is strengthened by its ventures in its key investment companies. Zamani Capital, the investment arm within the group, manages a private equity firm with a robust acquisition and business development strategy in various industries.
Zamani’s leadership had the foresight to enter into the Gaming and Gambling Industries and established Zamani Gaming, the majority shareholder under which ITHUBA, the Third South African National Lottery Operator was set up. As one of Zamani’s formidable success stories, ITHUBA has more than doubled the number of games in the National Lottery portfolio. ITHUBA is responsible for several record-breaking jackpots with the highest being R232 million which was the highest jackpot in the history of Africa in 2019.
When ITHUBA introduced the Random Number Generator (RNG) system as a new method of drawing numbers in 2017, replacing the outdated ball machine method, it was a pioneering and ground-breaking innovation that had never been seen in our African context. This method is operated with integrity and high systems security, the secret to the Operator’s success in sustaining the Lottery during the COVID-19 pandemic while other lotteries around the world have had to close down. This system was recognised by the World Lottery Association as an impressive forward thinking.
ITHUBA has digitised the National Lottery through its E-commerce capability. Players can enjoy purchasing their tickets on the National Lottery Mobile App, the lottery website and from the 135 000 handheld devices that are available countrywide. In addition to ITHUBA’s achievements, the Lottery Operator has integrated South Africa’s major banks – Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank to provide National Lottery products on the banking online platforms. This makes ITHUBA the only Lottery Operator in the world selling lottery products through banking platforms, setting the benchmark for lotteries across the globe.
To strengthen its gaming stronghold, Zamani Holdings entered the online sports betting arena as a bookmaker through its Zamani Bets subsidiary. Sports betting is a popular hobby around the world and South Africa’s growing participation in online gambling has been no exception. This growing trend sets the stage for a credible sports betting company that would secure online gaming activity and winnings.
Online security and high-tech innovation in the world of gaming can be the big game-changer. Paytronix Systems offers superior technology solutions to all of Zamani’s subsidiaries such as ITHUBA and Zamani Bets’ as its preferred technology partner.. As its fourth investment company, Paytronix continues to uphold Zamani’s vision of pioneering innovative technology solutions.
The Zamani Holdings Portfolio:
About Zamani Capital
Zamani Capital is a group equity investment arm vehicle to identify opportunities and foster relationships that drive sustainable Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment. It is through these organisations that we aim to increase the economic participation of previously disadvantaged Black South Africans.
About Zamani Gaming
Zamani Gaming is a vehicle for all the gaming opportunities such as ITHUBA. ITHUBA raises funds to support good causes in South Africa. Through the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Zamani funds three sectors: charities, sports and recreation, and arts and culture.
About Zamani Bets
Zamani Bets provides a world class online sports betting platform to help the Group diversify on its ITHUBA brand and other technology platforms.
Paytronix is the group technology arm with expert specialist skills in network & infrastructure, e-commerce portals, development & integration, technical support & maintenance, security and contact centre management. The company implements ICT solutions for clients including the South African National Lottery, the social grants system, data centres, and an operational contact centre. Services range from administration and server management to web development and systems control.