South Africa progressing on meeting FATF recommendations

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South African Deputy President Paul Mashatile maintains the country is making “significant progress” in addressing recommended actions by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.

Government news agency SANews reports him as saying that 52 of 67 recommended actions received attention with the remaining 15 “now being focussed on to meet the January 2025 deadline”. He spoke in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during an oral question session.

Cabinet, according to the South African number two, mandated the Inter-Departmental Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terror Financing to address identified deficiencies “expeditiously”.

This includes overseeing implementation of the national strategy on anti-money laundering and countering terror financing as well as tracking progress in addressing identified deficiencies.

In February 2023, FATF grey listed South Africa based on a 2019 evaluation conducted and a 2021 report.

“In 2021, South Africa was put under a one year observation period, allowing the country to address 67 of the recommended actions,” SANews said.

The report identified South Africa as a country with strategic deficiencies in combatting money laundering and stopping the flow of finance to terror groups.

FATF is a global inter-governmental body promoting policies and setting international standards to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

South African law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mashatile said, are implementing an integrated action plan to ensure “a sustained increase in investigations and prosecutions of serious and complex money laundering cases”.

“The action plan focuses on cases involving professional money laundering networks and third party money laundering, as well as identifying, investigating and prosecuting terror financing activities in line with South Africa’s risk profile.”

Through the Cabinet Committee on Justice, Crime-Prevention and Security government would continue to enforce implementation of the high-level goals, ensuring all relevant agencies and departments address deficiencies identified by FATF.