A closer look at section 28 of the FIC Act

In South Africa, money laundering describes any activity in which money that originates from illegal activity is concealed. To combat this illegal process, South African law has implemented control measures aimed at assisting in its detection and investigation.

October 28, 2021

These control measures are embodied in the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 38 of 2001 (the FIC Act) and can be described as follows:

  • Individuals need to know who they are doing business with;
  • The financial paper trail of all transactions within a business need to be kept and preserved;
  • Suspected money laundering transactions need to be reported to the Financial Intelligence Centre.

Let’s look at an example where an accountable institution has a duty to report a transaction to the Finance Intelligence Centre.

Cash Payments

In terms of section 28 of the FIC Act, accountable institutions are obligated to report cash transactions in excess of R24 999.00. This threshold amount is currently under review and the proposal is that it be increased to R49 999.00, with a reporting timeframe of three days.

Cash is defined as “coin and paper money of the Republic or of another country that is designated as legal tender”.  It is therefore important to note that “cash” does not include transfer of funds by means of electronic funds transfer, wire transfer or any method that does not involve the physical transfer of cash.  

It is also important to note that accountable institutions are obligated to report cash payment aggregates of smaller deposits or payments that together exceed the cash threshold of R24 999.99.

Should the accountable institution be required to report a transaction in terms of section 28, the report is to be filed electronically at fic.gov.za.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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