The Standing Committee on Finance has warned that National Treasury will have to take responsibility if the October deadline of amending the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) is not met.
It says National Treasury delayed in submitting the proposed amendments.
In June, authorities warned the Committee that South Africa’s anti-money laundering legislative framework is lagging behind when compared with international standards.
The committee on Tuesday started public hearings on proposed changes to the act.
The amendments seek to tighten loopholes in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.
Committee Chairperson, Joe Maswanganyi, says, “In the public domain out there, it was like Parliament is holding on to processing this matter (and) South Africa will be grey-listed because (of) Parliament. That’s not the case. Let that be cleared that this matter is coming to us for the first time and Parliament doesn’t take short cuts in processing matters. This is a matter of public interest. So, we have to make sure that we must go through the public hearings.”
Meanwhile, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has told the Standing Committee on Finance that financial sector role players should not assume that small businesses are low risk when it comes to money laundering.
Critical weaknesses in the systems put South Africa at risk: