SA doing all possible to avoid greylisting

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

National Treasury is doing everything necessary to prevent greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), says Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. 

The FATF is the international standard-setting body that oversees global compliance with anti-money laundering rules. 

Presenting the 2022 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said: “Already we have tabled two Bills in Parliament, aimed at addressing weaknesses in our legislative framework.”

According to reports, South Africa scored moderate to low levels of effectiveness in the 10 requirement areas and low compliance levels in the 40 areas of technical compliance (such as wire transfers, reporting of suspicious transactions and transparency, and the beneficial ownership of legal persons). Thus, there are deficiencies that require South Africa to undergo an enhanced follow-up process.

Should South Africa not be able to meet the FATF recommendations by April 2023, it will be added to the FATF greylist, Godongwana said.

The Bills, he said, are expected to be enacted by the end of this year.

This will be a significant step towards meeting the 40 recommendations made by the FATF. 

“We are also required to implement laws on anti-money laundering and corruption more effectively. Investing in building the capacity of our regulatory and enforcement institutions is already bearing positive results.” 

These results, the Minister said, include:

• The Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority has enrolled 26 cases, declared 89 investigations and 165 accused persons have appeared in court for alleged State capture-related offences.

• The Asset Forfeiture Unit has frozen or granted preservation orders to the value of

R12.9 billion, and returned a total of R2.9 billion to affected entities.

• The Special Investigating Unit has instituted four High Court cases in relation to contracts worth R62.1 billion; and

• South African Revenue Service (SARS) investigations arising from the State Capture Commission’s findings and evidence have resulted in collections of R4.8 billion in unpaid taxes. SARS is currently engaged in 18 projects involving 222 cases. Eleven of those cases are recommendations explicitly for

SARS to execute, eight have been finalised and the others are under investigation. -