Deputy President Paul Mashatile says South Africa has made significant progress by addressing 52 of the 67 recommended actions to get off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.
“We are now focusing on the remaining 15 actions to meet the January 2025 deadline,” the Deputy President said on Thursday at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) where he was answering questions.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Mashatile said Cabinet had mandated the Inter-Departmental Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terror Financing to address the identified deficiencies expeditiously.
This includes overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terror Financing and tracking progress in addressing the identified deficiencies.
In February 2023, FATF decided to grey list South Africa based on the evaluation conducted in 2019 and the report released in 2021.
“In 2021, South Africa was put under a one-year observation period, allowing the country to address 67 of the recommended actions.”
The report identified South Africa as one of the countries with strategic deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.
The FATF is a global inter-governmental body that promotes policies and sets international standards relating to combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
On the question of the country’s law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the country’s second-in-command, said they 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, he said government would continue to enforce the implementation of the high-level goals, ensuring that all relevant agencies and departments are addressing the deficiencies identified by the FATF.
Political coalition Shifting his focus to political coalitions, he stated that they were part of the discussion on improving the quality of our democracy.
“While working towards the dialogue, government will review the negative impact of dysfunctional coalition arrangements and its effect on service delivery.”
This comes after political coalitions among various political parties became necessary because of hung councils after the 2021 Local Government Elections, where no single political party gained a majority vote in some municipalities.
He told the Members of Parliament (MPs) that coalition governments have not been institutionalised.
However, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), in 2021, developed a framework for coalition governments that can be used as a guide by political parties in practically structuring their coalitions.
“We are particularly concerned that, although some municipalities are weakened because of low economic growth, approvals of development proposals that would boost local economic growth are derailed because of endless disruptions of coalition arrangements.”
The Deputy President added that the results of this process would form part of the dialogue on coalitions to determine the appropriate mechanisms to guide how coalitions function collectively.