As published on iol.co.za, Monday 1st April, 2019.
The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) said on Monday that a panel of experts is set to test the effectiveness of South Africa's legislative and institutional capability to detect and combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The experts are from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The ESAAMLG and the FATF, an inter-governmental body, undertake regular peer reviews of their member jurisdictions to evaluate the extent to which they meet international standards for anti-money laundering, combating of terrorist financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
South Africa is one of a number of countries including Benin, Cyprus, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and others, that will undergo this type of assessment this year.
The National Treasury and the FIC are co-ordinating South Africa's inputs for the assessment.
The FIC said that the first phase of the assessment, a desktop review by the panel, had kicked off on Monday. This will be followed by face-to-face interviews with stakeholders from the public and private sectors in October and November 2019.
"The final outcome of the assessment will be made known in 2020. Should the assessment team identify possible areas for improvement, South Africa will be held accountable for follow-up actions," the FIC said in a statement.
"Once completed, South Africa will join a host of jurisdictions that have been assessed, including Botswana, Ethiopia, Belgium, Ghana, Jamaica, China, the United Kingdom and the United States of America."
The FIC said a largely favourable evaluation outcome will contribute to ensuring that South Africa's financial system is regarded globally as protected and having integrity.
The FATF assessments of South Africa in 2006 and 2009 resulted in amendments to relevant laws and improvements to systems and processes related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing activities in South Africa, to meet FATF’s global standards.