COSATU presents its submission on the General Laws Amendment (Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Bill to Parliament on Tuesday(11 October 2022)

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its Affiliate, the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union(SACTWU), presented their submission on the General Laws Amendment (Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Bill to Parliament’s Standing Committee: Finance’s virtual hearings on Tuesday, the 11th of October 2022. 

COSATU and SACTWU welcome the tabling of the GLA Bill as a long overdue response by government to address gaps in our legislation dealing with corruption, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Federation hopes that the provisions of the Bill will address these loopholes and further empower the state to deal with these criminal scourges. 

Workers have felt the pain and real consequences of these criminal acts. These cancers have bled the fiscus of billions of rands. This has resulted in public servants being denied their increases, SOE employees retrenched, municipal workers unpaid, public services deteriorating and the economy suffocating from load shedding and austerity budget cuts. 

The nation cannot afford the risks of grey listing which will discourage, and in many instances, prohibit badly needed investments in an economy still struggling to recover from a devastating recession, a global pandemic, the July 2021 riots, the 2022 floods and rising inflation. 

COSATU and SACTWU commend the Bill’s provisions to strengthen the roles and responsibilities of the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Auditor General and the South African Revenue Service. We support provisions that require transparency and accountability from financial institutions.   

Whilst COSATU and SACTWU welcome the progressive objectives of the Bill, we believe that Parliament needs to significantly bolster its provisions that require the disclosure of company ownership.  It is crucial that the Bill’s provisions requiring the disclosure of ownership, including beneficials, be enhanced to include the disclosure of all owners, the recording of these details on a central registry and enabling full access to this registry to the public, media, unions and other stakeholders. 

It is also critical that Parliament not only pass this Bill but also stiffen it, if it is to meet its full objectives. Government must ensure that when it comes into effect, that the relevant state organs are adequately resourced, trained and capacitated to effect its full implementation. We cannot afford a repeat of the Sexual Offenders Registry, which was left unpopulated, not resourced and unimplemented. 

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks-COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
082 7850 687