An agreement to set up an inter-departmental forum to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism has been reached between Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Justice Minister Michael Masutha.
It would replace the Counter Money-Laundering Advisory Council (CMLAC) and would aim to improve the quality of consultation for the implementation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
Gigaba said in a written reply to a parliamentary question by DA finance spokesperson David Maynier that the mandate of the forum or committee “would be to promote discussion, collaboration and co-ordination between the relevant law-enforcement agencies, government departments and regulatory authorities to ensure the South African authorities are more effective in implementing both the spirit and letter of the complete legal framework against money-laundering and terrorist financing.”
He added that “a consultative structure to facilitate engagements with accountable institutions in the private sector is also being established, with a banking sector anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism steering committee already having been established”.
Gigaba said Treasury had published a consultation document to get public comments on these new consultation mechanisms. “We will monitor how well these consultation forums work over the next year or two and, thereafter, make a decision on how best to formalise the consultation forums.”
“We want to deepen and improve our consultative mechanisms to strengthen implementation,” he said. “The CMLAC played a significant role in the drafting of the initial regulations of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act when it was first enacted in 2003, but was not as effective as a forum for implementation.”