Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says he’s confident that by mid-2024, or in about 15 months from now, South Africa will be removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of nations that have been greylisted by the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
“I’m quite sure by the middle of next year we will have been removed,” Godongwana told Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk, on the RSG Geldsake business show on Monday.
The FATF last week placed South Africa on the grey list, for failing to adequately combat financial crimes such as money laundering through the relevant legislative and prosecutorial processes.
South Africa now faces pressure to exit the grey list and deal with the areas of concern identified by FATF by 2025.

Also speaking on RSG Geldsake, Ninety One CEO Hendrik du Toit warned that the true damage to South Africa would be in staying greylisted for too long.

“But, in time, it will drive up the cost of business, access to international capital and quite simply confidence,” he said.
It would also prove “very expensive” for South African businesses, he added.

“What is actually being required of us can be done, and that’s the important point. Whether it will be done is another matter,” commented Du Toit.

He said it would also be detrimental to overseas domiciled businesses that have their origins in South Africa, such as Ninety One itself, which was previously the asset management arm of financial services giant Investec.
“In the longer term it will make it very difficult for South African entities to work with overseas institutions, but I don’t think this problem will become evident within the next year if we tackle the problem as Team South Africa,” added Du Toit.
The FATF began evaluating South Africa in 2019 and identified 67 areas of concern. While over 50 of these concerns have been resolved, the watchdog was not satisfied with South Africa’s progress and placed the country on the grey list together with Nigeria.
“We’ve dealt with about [52 of them] – including legislation, as you are aware… We amended the money laundering and anti-terrorism financing acts with the broad amendment in 2022,” Godongwana told RSG Geldsake.

“We also dealt with a number of other pieces of legislation, but FATF doesn’t tolerate 99%. We may have scored 99%, but they want 100%. So we then knew that we’d clocked all of those 67, except for 15,” the finance minister said.

As part of moves to strengthen anti-money laundering rules and policies to fight financial terrorism, South Africa has developed an ‘FATF Action Plan’. The plan is aimed at demonstrating increased investigations and prosecution of serious and complex money laundering activities, among other risks.
The government is also updating its Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment to inform the implementation of a comprehensive national counter financing of terrorism strategy and ensure effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions.


SA will be removed from grey list by mid-2024, says Godongwana – Moneyweb