Black entrepreneurs must not use Fica Bill as excuse for breaking law - Carrim

Chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, says the committee does not support calls to delay or scrap the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act (Fica).

Parliament held public hearings into the Fica Bill on Wednesday.

Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) and Black Business Council (BBC) says the unintended consequence of the Bill is to victimise black African business and should be delayed or scraped.

Their argument is that aspects of the powers granted to the inspectors of the Financial Intelligence Centre are unconstitutional and they belong to the security sector.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

Carrim says Parliament does not have the authority to look at issues other than those raised by President Jacob Zuma when he referred the Bill back to Parliament.

He says PPF and BBC may have misunderstood what the Bill will do. He insists that the Bill gives power to the Financial Intelligence Centre not the banks.

Zuma raised concerns about the constitutionality of provisions relating to warrant-less searches in the Bill.

Carrim admits that banks may be victimising black entrepreneurs.

We have to have a public hearing on the 14th of March to look at the transformation of the whole financial sector.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

It's is clear to us that to some extent this is happening. I don't believe this is happening because of this Bill.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

We think that the case that was presented to us is happening, and we have been getting representations from others outside PPF and BBC who have been raising this in some or other form over the last year.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

We are saying the effect is to some extent in practice not necessarily linked to this Bill but the Bill makes a bit of space for that, a level of discrimination against emerging entrepreneurs.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

Emerging entrepreneurs cannot use (this) as an excuse the banks regulating policies as being discriminating. They themselves are doing things outside the law. So, we need to find the right balance. It doesn't matter what colour your skin is, you must abide by the law and practices that are legitimate.

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance

Listen to the full interview with Yunus Carrim below for more information...

Listen to EWN Parliament correspondent Gaye Davis below to hear about heated discussions during public hearing into Fica Bill in Parliament yesterday...

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