News / South Africa
With l connectivity to over 9 000 retail terminals, 80 000 handheld terminals, as well as 180 000 virtual servers, running information communication technology for the national Lotteries is a huge responsibility.
The national Lottery system handles hundreds of thousands of transactions worth billions of Rands each day, and the integrity and safety of the ICT system is key, as it could be enticing for electronic thieves.
But Joy Diphokwana, executive of Paytronix Systems, the women-led company that ensures ITHUBA brings the lottery to millions of homes across the country without a glitch, makes it sound easy.
She emphasises the central importance of the availability and performance of the network to drive sales and customer engagements across the country.
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“This also requires a stable and secure environment, where player information and data must be secured against outside attacks or vulnerabilities. Paytronix has managed and continues to deliver exceptionally high service availability and performance while building a security layer that has allowed no security or data breaches over the entire term of the engagement,” Diphokwana explains.
And while she talks passionately about the challenges and complexities of her job, she remains careful not to divulge any information that will give hackers and chancers clues on their system’s firewalls and responses in case of an attack.
“We cannot disclose our technology to ensure that hackers and fraudsters cannot know what system we utilise for ITHUBA. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the intricacies of our security and safety to ensure that ITHUBA delivers the National Lottery to all South Africans without a glitch,” she explains firmly when asked to describe some of the behind-the-scenes magic.
When ITHUBA was awarded the Third National Lottery Operator license in 2015, Paytronix Systems, a black-owned ICT provider founded in 2002, became ITHUBA’s ICT solutions provider.
Within the first three years, the ICT firm which is also behind social services payment system eEmpilweni Payout Services, managed the data operations of more than 1.636 billion transactions to the value R19.5 billion on ITHUBA’s behalf.
Its main focus has been to provide platform support to enable ITHUBA to run the National Lottery, with a crucial role in deploying the ICT infrastructure for ITHUBA Holdings in record five months.
Diphokwane, who was born in Mbommbela in Mpumalanga, boasts that through their ICT solutions, the country’s Third National Lottery Operator was able to comply with stringent requirements by the National Lotteries Commission, World Lottery Association Standards, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry.
“We are grateful that the successful operation of such an organisation has been entrusted to us. This is a remarkable achievement and affirmed Paytronix Systems as a global player using best practices and exceptional standards. Paytronix was able to deliver the project despite the technical complexity,” she explains.
Diphokwane believes the reason they were entrusted with so much ICT responsibility was they followed best practices and exceptional standards, that they have been able to allow ITHUBA to stand out from the crowd.