SA banks must ‘know their clients’

first_img30 June 2004The Financial Intelligence Centre Act requires South Africa’s banks to comply with “know your client” provisions aimed at preventing money laundering and maintaining the integrity of the country’s financial systems.The original 30 June 2004 deadline for banks to verify the identities of their clients has been deferred to an array of new cut-off points starting on 31 December 2004.The provisions require all financial institutions to verify the personal details of their customers.While the the onus is on banks to verify this information, banking customers risk having their accounts frozen if they do not provide their banks with the necessary proof of identity and residence – and banks are encouraging their clients come forward with this in good time.Existing and potential account holders should provide their banks with the following documentation:Proof of identity (by means of a green bar-coded ID document).Proof of residential address (by means of a municipal rates bill, Telkom bill or valid TV licence displaying the account holder’s name and residential address).New deadlinesAnnouncing the deferral of the 30 June 2004 deadline, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said banks would have to confirm the identities of their “highest-risk clients” by year-end 2004. The profile of this category of client would have to be determined by the banks themselves.By 31 May 2005, banks would have had to verify the details of at least 50% of their clients, Manuel said.The deadline for reporting on “lowest-risk clients” – people with a monthly turnover of less than R5 000 and a balance ceiling not higher than R25 000 – was delayed to 30 September 2006.The requirement for clients’ residential addresses to be verified alongside their identity documents would not be dropped, Manuel said.“Mere reliance on ID numbers is clearly inadequate, partly because the issue of ID numbers itself has been the subject of dispute because of theft of blank ID books and so on”, the minister said.While it was true that many South Africans had no permanent addresses, “we identify that as a challenge that we have to respond to in a variety of ways rather than an obstacle that will see us walking away from compliance”.With up to 22 million bank accounts in the country, it is not yet known how many people the Act will affect.Blocking money launderersThe regulations, Manuel said, were aimed at ensuring “that those who earn their keep by foul means are prevented from using the facilities of the financial services institutions”.Financial Intelligence Centre acting director Murray Mitchell says the Act, passed in 2001, aims to prevent money launderers from using bank accounts to defraud South Africa’s economy, so breaking the cycle used by organised criminal groups to benefit from illegitimate profits.The Act, the result of five years of investigation and development, complements the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998, which details the money laundering offences.The new legislation “has brought South Africa into line with top international standards of financial crime fighting”, says Kim Jenkins, head of strategic delivery at First National Bank.Record-keeping, reporting obligationsBesides the “know your client” obligations, the Act also imposes record-keeping and reporting obligations on South Africa’s banks.By 31 July 2004, banks have to supply the Reserve Bank with a complete risk framework, and to report on progress quarterly. By 31 October 2004 they have to identify all trusts, partnerships and the top 20% of private and corporate clients – those responsible for the bulk of transactions.Brokers and investment managers have to report by 31 October 2004 on the verification of partnerships and trusts and the top 20%, by transaction value, of their clients.Financial Intelligence CentreThe Act also requires financial institutions to compile reports on any unusual transactions – such as unusually large deposits or withdrawals – and to forward these to the appropriate law enforcement agencies if any transgressions are found.The Financial Intelligence Centre, established to identify the proceeds of unlawful activities and to combat money laundering, started receiving suspicious and unusual transaction reports from businesses in February 2003.Its objectives will expand to include combating of terrorist financing offences when the Anti-terrorism Bill is enacted.The Centre makes its information available to the country’s investigating authorities: the SA Police Service; the National Prosecuting Authority through the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) and the Asset Forfeiture Unit; the intelligence services; and the SA Revenue Service.The Centre also exchanges information with similar bodies in other countries.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Brand South Africa in good shape: Zuma

first_imgThe smooth running of last week’s local government elections once more demonstrated South Africa’s growth as a democracy and how it continues to attract the respect of the international community, President Jacob Zuma said after a meeting with the board of Brand South Africa on Tuesday.“For us, the elections, like many events we have held before, are once again proof of how we can help market this brand called South Africa,” Zuma said after the meeting in Pretoria.“To be a democratic country is very important because now we have people who are able to link their vote to their living conditions, and that markets SA in terms of its democracy.”The elections also helped South Africa to boost its international marketing both politically and economically, Zuma said.The meeting, also attended by businesspeople and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, discussed at length the need for business and government to work together to market the successes of the country domestically and to the world.Established in 2002, Brand South Africa is tasked with developing and implementing proactive and coordinated marketing and communication strategies for the country.Brand South Africa chairperson Anita Soni said South Africa’s advanced telecommunications and research infrastructure made it one of the most attractive and competent countries in the world.“What we discussed in this meeting is that, considering the things we have, it is very important moving forward that we as South Africans become brand ambassadors for our country, because we have a lot to be proud of,” Soni said. “But it will take all of us to achieve that,” she added.Zuma used the meeting to appoint Geoffrey Rothschild, Moss Leoka, Sindi Mabaso-Koyana and Ramasela Moloto, all from the private sector, as the new members of the Brand South Africa board.New government representatives on the board are Presidency Director-General Cassius Lubisi, Trade and Industry Director-General Lionel October, Arts and Culture Director-General Sibusiso Xaba, and Timothy Scholtz from South African Tourism.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Mandela Day 2014: it’s in our hands now

first_imgThe 2014 Nelson Mandela Day International Day campaign was officially launched in Johannesburg in April . Celebrated across the globe in honour of the late statesman’s birthday on 18 July, the day gives everyone the opportunity to emulate Mandela’s role as public servant. “Mandela Day is not only about doing good, it is about service,” Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang said at the launch event. “It is an opportunity to build upon Mr Mandela’s lifelong belief that we must live to serve every day, in whatever we do.” This year’s Mandela Day will be particularly symbolic in that it offers South Africans, and the world, an occasion to honour the ethos of the late Mr Mandela in the year that marks South Africa’s 20th year of democracy. Professor Njabulo Ndebele, the foundation’s chairperson, said South Africa should use the event to “position itself as a shining example of what can happen when people come together to address social injustices and do good”. Mandela Day, the foundation said in a statement, creates an opportunity for society’s “haves” and “have nots” to work together to confront social ills within their communities and to build a better world. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, also speaking at the launch event, said: “Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years of his life. It is not too much to ask that we devote 67 minutes of each day in each year to honour his lifelong legacy. This is a day that inspires all of humanity and reminds us of our public service to each other.” Mandela’s passing away in December was “all the more reason we have to up the ante, ensuring that this day is imbued with durable meaning that reverberates across time and space,” Motlanthe said. “In 2014, let us all support the Nelson Mandela International Day campaign, mindful of both the global contexts and the contexts of our own communities. This is not only about doing good; it is about building the cultures that will make a difference in the world.” The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008, when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.” The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity” and acknowledging his contribution “to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”. The Mandela Day campaign asks that individuals, groups and corporates pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July, and every day thereafter, to give back. This can be by supporting a charity or serving the community. No matter how small the action, the aim is to change the world for the better – just as Mandela did. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Congress, BJP accuse each other over Baba Ramdev’s land deal

first_imgHeated exchanges were witnessed in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday on the issue of allotment of 22 acres to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth at Sadhupul in Solan district in 2009. State Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur revealed that the Cabinet had on February 17 given its nod to reconsider the lease of land to the Yogpeeth that was earlier cancelled by it in February 2013. The Congress government after coming to power in December 2012 had taken back the land given to the Yogpeeth on a 99 years lease by the previous BJP government because of certain anomalies and undue favours given to the Yog Guru, he said.Necessary formalitiesThe incumbent government would remove all irregularities and carry out the necessary formalities before finalising the land deal with the Yogpeeth, he added.Mr. Thakur claimed that the lease deed was signed in haste during the previous government and it had the signatures of someone else and not that of Acharya Balkrishan of the Yogpeeth who had further given the power of attorney to someone else.Some multi-storey buildings and hospitality units were being constructed there when the government took repossession of the land, he said.The Minister also maintained that if the Yogpeeth takes back its writ in the High Court against the government for illegally cancelling its lease deed, the incumbent government would take a relook at the matter and again register the lease in its name after carrying out the necessary preconditions.Some of the Congress MLAs also requested the government to not renew the lease deed with the Yogpeeth since it had openly violated the conditions in the memorandum and instead an orphanage or shelter for stray cattle should be constructed on the let out land.‘Unnecessary move’The BJP members blamed the government for unnecessarily cancelling the lease to the Yogpeeth earlier which was constructing a herbal garden and a branch of the Patanjali Yog Centre on behalf of its Trust.Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal and other BJP members wanted to know why the government was now planning to reinstate the lease deed in favour of Baba Ramdev who is close to the upper echelons of the Union government.last_img read more

Irrfan Khan gets candid

first_imgA small-screen actor who worked his way to Hollywood, receiving praise and critical acclaim along the way… Maqbool and Slumdog Millionaire are just a few movies he collected accolades for.To be or not to beMy dream was to learn acting, and attending the National School of Drama (New Delhi), changed my life. It has given me a different way of looking at things and myself. Drama school plays a very important role in an actor’s life, but you should be serious about the craft. If you just want to get popular and become a hero, it’s not for you. If you’re passionate, it gives you the aptitude and the direction you need.The returnsWhen it comes to awards and recognition, my Padma Shri probably means the most to me. It tells me how my fans and well wishers have reacted to me emotionally. It makes me think about how much people care and value my work and how personal it feels for them, that it matters to them.A philosophical sideLife is not 2+2 = 4. Life could be 2+2 = 100. That is why you say yeh saali zindagi! It is not logical or calculated. It is magical – something beyond calculation or comprehension. So dream your dream, and live your life…Hollywood beckonsIf I’m offered a role that gives me the opportunity to explore something new, that is what I look forward to. I am not there to create headlines about what I’m wearing at a premier; that doesn’t matter and I don’t want to get caught in that either. (He is currently shooting for the next franchise of Spiderman that’ll be released next year.)advertisementPlaying sportI hope to catch some World Cup matches if time permits. I like this team and Dhoni. I admire his attitude – I think he is the best captain I have seen after Steve Waugh. He is at such ease with himself, which is why he is so composed with his team. I love Sehwag’s playing style; when he is batting I want to go home and watch his innings. But Dhoni is special; the way he deals with pressure situations; he is fascinating – just super!The family manI try to spend as much time as I can with my family – we fly kites, play football, computer games, swim, sometimes we just get bored together! I also love going out of the city, out in the wilderness, being one with Nature. I try to cook whenever I get the time; to me cooking is like meditation. When it comes to eating, I do watch what I eat; everything in moderation is what I believe in. And I stay away from processed foods.last_img read more

Everyone in Kashechewan community ordered to evacuate

first_imgAPTN National NewsOfficials in Kashechewan announced that everyone must leave the community Monday.The northern Ontario First Nation sits on the shores of James Bay and is, once again, threatened by rising spring waters.APTN’s Annette Francis and cameraman Jason Leroux just returned from the community has this first a two stories.last_img