President Cyril Ramaphosa, seen here addressing players at a footabll friendly between South Africa and a Palestinian team, has finally announced the long-anticipated date of general elections

South Africa's National Treasury said Thursday it remains a challenge to meet all of the 17 remaining action items recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by February 2025 deadline to exit the grey list.

South Africa said it is on track towards addressing all the outstanding action items by the FATF to ensure that the country doesn't remain on the grey list anymore.

FATF is a France-based intergovernmental organization that helps to create policies to fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. According to February 2024 FATF Plenary report by the organization, South Africa has addressed five out of 22 actions.

"All relevant agencies and authorities will need to continue to demonstrate significant improvements, and also for such improvements are being sustained," the government department said, SA News reported.

"These relate to the legal provisions criminalizing terrorist financing and underpinning South Africa's targeted financial sanction regimes related to terrorism financing and proliferation financing, increasing the use of financial intelligence from the Financial Intelligence Centre to support money laundering investigations, and increasing the resources of AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism] supervisors," as per the National Treasury.

The country was grey-listed last year in February after a jointly agreed Action Plan was adopted listing 22 action items linked to the strategic deficiencies identified in the AML/CFT regime.

The government department revealed that the deadlines for addressing the remaining items fall between January 2024 and January 2025, noting that FATF will be scheduling an on-site visit in April or May next year to confirm the assessment and make a recommendation to the FATF plenary in June 2025.

"In this cycle of reporting, the FATF also considered that two further action items that were previously not addressed, have now been partly addressed, confirming that 14 of the 17 outstanding action items have now been partly addressed," the National Treasury said.

It added, "Three action items still have not been addressed as yet. The deadline for South Africa to address (or at least largely address) four of the outstanding action items in the Action Plan, is May 2024."

The FATF is expected to consider South Africa's progress during a plenary meeting in June this year.